25 March 2015

Who's Against Letting Trans People Serve In The Armed Forces?

A few days ago, I compared the backlash that often follows progress to Newton's Third Law of Motion.

It seems the Armed Forces are manifesting that law again.  After Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter said he's open to the idea of trans people serving in the military and Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James expressed her support of lifting the transgender ban, unnamed officials have expressed "concern" about allowing trans people to serve.

And what might those concerns be?  Apparently, they include some of the "usual suspects", if you will:

"Much of the opposition centers on questions of where transgender troops would be housed, what berthing they would have on ships, which bathrooms they would use and whether their presence would affect the ability of small units to work well together."

Housing?  Morale?  Haven't we heard those questions before--about women, blacks and gays?  And somehow those questions were worked out, I think.

And then there's that old familiar bugaboo--bathrooms.  Ah, yes, bathrooms. They're so powerful that they're keeping the mightiest, most technologically advanced fighting force in the history of the world from doing what Australia, Belgium, Canada, the Czech Republic, Israel, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Thailand and the United Kingdom have done.  Yes, all of those countries allow trans people to serve openly in their Armed Forces.

Perhaps Israel's membership in this club is most ironic of all.  After all, some of the most pro-Israel lawmakers are also some of our most homophobic and transphobic. 

Perhaps they can explain how it's OK for this country to help pay the salaries of  transgenders in the Tzahal while keeping trans people out of our own armed forces.

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