Mattis finally takes stand on Trump’s trans ban

For trans people looking to trade in lipstick and stiletto heels for camouflage and an M16, there may be hope yet.

According to USAToday:

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis late Tuesday announced that transgender troops will be allowed to continue serving in the military pending the results of a study by experts.

The announcement follows an order from President Trump — first announced in a tweet — declaring that transgender service members can no longer serve in the military, effectively reversing an Obama administration policy. The order also affects the Department of Homeland Security, which houses the Coast Guard.

Trump’s transgender ban was announced to great controversy in late July in a series of tweets.

Almost immediately it was reported in the New York Times that one such general was not consulted about – nor very happy with – Trump’s ban:

Mr. Mattis, who was on vacation, was silent on the new policy. People close to the defense secretary said he was appalled that Mr. Trump chose to unveil his decision in tweets, in part because of the message they sent to transgender active-duty service members, including those deployed overseas, that they were suddenly no longer welcome.

Many, especially those who oppose the transgender ban, took Mattis’ action as opposition to the ban.

Senator McCain, for example, tweeted:

However, neither his initial reaction to Trump’s tweets, nor this temporary halt to the ban pending further study, may be indicative of Mattis’ view of it.

As Jazz Shaw wrote for

While some seem to be taking this as an indication of wavering on the policy, the final decision has already been made. Mattis appears to be approaching this from a very sensible position, but in the end it’s not up to him to override the decision of the Commander-in-Chief. From the beginning of this debate, Mattis has remained focused on one question alone… how would any change in policy impact the readiness of the United States military and their ability to effectively win wars. Social justice concerns and identity politics don’t appear to play a very large role in Mad Dog’s world. (Which is precisely as it should be.)

Even if Jazz Shaw is correct, perhaps a compromise can be found: allow transgenders to serve but without the “tremendous medical costs” that accompanies that service.

For if the primary determinative factor of a “trans ban” is to be “what’s in the best interest of the military,” it remains to be seen what benefit the military would find in kicking out transgenders already honorably serving in the military, or enlisting to do so.

And it’s also difficult to see how it benefits the military to be obligated to pay for gender reassignment surgeries or hormone therapy for soldiers who believe they’re not the sex they’re born.

[Note: This post was written by dk. Find him online at the African American Conservatives (AACONS) website or AACONS on Twitter and Facebook]

Leave a Reply

Be the First to Comment!

Notify of