Roll back the transgender mandate

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Amidst America’s celebration of 241 years of freedom and independence on July 4, there was also much talk of North Korea launching another ballistic missile toward Japan. The most recent launch was part of a string of recent test-firings as the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un works to build a nuclear-tipped missile that could reach the United States.

According to the Associated Press, this latest missile reached a height of 1,740 miles and traveled 580 miles before falling into the sea.

While news channels explained that the missile could not have reached the United States mainland or the Hawaiian Islands, it could have reached Alaska.

Earlier this year Kim threatened all-out war with America after U.S. Senator John McCain called the obese dictator a “crazy fat kid.” The communist country retorted by saying McCain’s fat jibe was “a little short of a declaration of war.”

The situation with Kim is unstable to say the least and his volatile behavior was most noticeable when he showed favor to ex-NBA star Dennis Rodman to discuss a variety of topics including peace. Rodman is one of the most unlikely persons to offer diplomacy to the North Korean leader since his only experience outside of basketball is his outlandish behavior and dressing in drag.

So, who knows when the North Korean leader might push the red button or pick up the red phone to order a nuclear attack on South Korea or some other country including the United States?

So, for that reason and others we need to give serious attention to the pending legislation concerning the National Defense Authorization Act 2018 (NDAA). National security should always be the federal government’s top priority. Reading the Constitution, the Federalist Papers, or our Founders’ other writings confirms the priority they placed on “providing for the common defense.” They were also clear that the goal of a strong national defense is not war, but peace.

President Ronald Reagan presided over the biggest peacetime defense buildup in history, from high-tech weapons systems to larger training ranges and military pay increases. Journalist Tom Bowman explained, “It was Reagan’s steady focus on the military that helped bring down the Soviet Union and expunge the malaise and hollowness that infected the American military during the 1970s.”

Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler of Missouri is playing a key role in advancing policies to strengthen our military. The 2018 NDAA is the national legislation that determines policies and funding levels for the U.S. Department of Defense and other national security entities.

This year Hartzler has offered an amendment to the NDAA to roll back the requirement that the military recruit people who identify as transgender, to stop taxpayer dollars from funding gender transition efforts, and to include conscience protections for service members who do not wish to provide or affirm gender transition efforts.

Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council has addressed this issue in one of his letters to his constituents. I want to share his thoughts in the remainder of this column:

 “While the Department of Defense has delayed the implementation of the Obama-era policy for six months, the military will soon be forced to begin recruiting personnel who identify as transgender for military service. This is despite the fact that those suffering from gender dysphoria have a psychological and medical condition that until one year ago made them ineligible for military service.

Allowing people who identify as transgender to serve in the military, much less be recruited for the military, will have a negative impact on readiness, recruitment, and retention, as well as unit morale and cohesion. This is particularly true because personnel who identify as transgender are expected to receive exceptions to policies and medical requirements that their peers will still be required to meet. These exceptions may be applied to policies about everything from physical and mental fitness standards to dress and presentation standards. And, they create unfairness in the military that will undermine unit cohesion and morale.

Taxpayer dollars also need to be protected from funding sex reassignment surgery and hormone therapy efforts intended to change a person’s gender. Estimates for these efforts, including the amount of time lost for the transition process, are about $3.7 billion over the next ten years. This is not a good use of taxpayer funds.

The military can better use these funds, for example, by purchasing 22 F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Planes, which cost $166.7 million each; 116 Chinook Helicopters, a cost of $31.8 million each; 3,700 Tomahawk missiles, $1 million each; or a new Destroyer for the Navy, which would be about $3.5 billion. It’s irresponsible to spend billions of dollars on transgender surgeries and treatment plans when the military has other priorities that would actually ensure its effectiveness in war.

In addition, the Obama-era transgender mandate does not provide conscience protections for medical and counseling providers, like chaplains, who do not think it is in the interest of the patient to attempt to undergo gender transition. The policy also does not provide conscience protections for military leaders or personnel who may have objections to being required to share sleeping or bathing facilities with persons of the opposite biological and anatomical sex. Therefore, the House Armed Services Committee must act to secure conscience protections and the freedom to believe for service members who disagree with the Obama-era transgender policy.

The House of Representatives will likely vote on Representative Hartzler’s amendment next week. Tell your Representative to vote for Mrs. Hartzler’s amendment to roll back the Obama administration’s transgender mandate on the military by calling your Representative at (202) 224-3121 or through email. Go here to locate your representative.

Urge Your Representative to Vote for Mrs. Hartzler’s Amendment to Roll Back the Obama Administration’s Transgender Mandate, Provide Service Members Conscience Protections, and Protect Taxpayer Funds from Being Used for Sex Reassignment Surgery.” 

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