Center for Military Readiness (CMR) media release on July 14, 2017On July 13, the House of Representatives voted on an amendment to the FY 2018 National Defense Authorization Act offered by Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO). The Hartzler Amendment would have prohibited the use of taxpayer dollars to pay for expensive “gender-reassignment” surgery and life-long hormone therapy for military persons suffering from gender dysphoria – a psychological condition involving confusion about gender identity. The amendment fell short, 209-214, with 24 Republicans joining with all Democrats voting. The following comments may be attributed to Elaine Donnelly, President of the Center for Military Readiness:
It is unfortunate that on a key national defense issue, all voting Democrats and 24 uninformed Republicans let down the troops.
Severe budget cuts are harming readiness in all branches of the service, contributing to deadly problems such as escalating Marine Corps aviation tragedies. Congresswoman Hartzler and those supporting her deserve credit for their effort to prioritize readiness and preserve precious taxpayer dollars.
Instead of following Congresswoman Hartzler’s principled lead, all Democrats and some Republicans voted for open-ended spending for transgender treatments and surgeries. House members who let down the troops showed indifference, irresponsibility, or poor understanding of military realities.
Yesterday’s vote signifies that the six-month suspension of an Obama Administration mandate to recruit transgenders, which Defense Secretary James Mattis announced on the eve of the July 1 deadline, is by no means adequate. Under directives set to go into effect on January 1, new recruits with gender dysphoria will need to wait only 18 months before receiving costly military health care treatments that render them non-deployable for long periods of time.
The Pentagon refuses to explain why leaders of the Army, Air Force, and Marine Corps initially asked for a two-year delay. Members of the House and Senate should insist on sufficient time to consider the military chiefs’ concerns, and to take a serious look at all aspects of this issue.
A recently-released CMR Special Report reveals and analyzes absurd and sometimes bizarre plans incorporated in Obama Administration transgender mandates:
Department of Defense & Military Services Should Revoke Problematic Transgender Policy Directives and Instructions
The 27-page CMR Special Report discloses and provides links to fifteen Defense Department and military service directives that are based on politically-correct beliefs that defy science and common sense. These expendable administrative directives, written in consultation with LGBT activist groups and like-minded contractors such as RAND, deserve serious congressional review, measured against requirements of military readiness.
Social experiments with the lives of people who deserve better will create many problems that detract from impacts on morale and readiness. For example:
- Unlimited expenditures for lifetime hormone treatments and sometimes irreversible surgeries. (Transgender advocates demand special status for recruits seeking lifetime medical benefits despite deployability problems. They also demand coverage for veterans in an already over-loaded system, and for family dependents, including minor children);
- Infringements on personal privacy in conditions of forced intimacy;
- Demoralizing pressures on military commanders, doctors, and nurses to approve, participate in, or perform procedures that violate medical ethics or sincerely-held personal or religious convictions;
- Negative impacts on morale and cohesion when side effects from transgender treatments and surgeries negatively affect combat deployability and readiness;
- Establishment of a network of remote “Service Central Coordination Cells” (SCCCs) allowing LGBT consultants to politicize the Military Health System;
- Erosion of trust in military leaders who endorse medical delusions; and
- Diversion of scarce time and resources in pursuit of politically-correct social agendas that are not consistent with sound priorities in the military.
Facts in the CMR Special Report and other independent analyses clearly discredit claims that the Pentagon can justify high costs and negative impacts on morale, deployability, and mission readiness.
Democratic party leaders, predictably, resorted to their usual hyperbolic rhetoric—an obvious sign that they have no rational arguments. Untruthful vitriol from LGBT activists cannot disguise the fact that there is no excuse for forcing military people to act upon ideological theories that are contradicted by science and common sense.
The narrow House vote shifts responsibility to the Senate, as well as to Defense Secretary Mattis and President Donald Trump. Because President Trump has a mandate to strengthen our military and put an end to politically-correct mandates that harm readiness, this initial vote is only the beginning of what should be a more principled, informed debate and corrective action to restore sound priorities.