California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

    Transgender Military Ban Is Unjust

    When it comes to protecting and serving our country it requires the internal traits of bravery, strength, dedication and determination. It has nothing to do with the gender of an individual. 

     The new military transgender policy is unjust and not backed by sufficient evidence to exclude these individuals from serving in the United States military.

    This ban announced in July by President Donald J. Trump, reverses a policy created by former President Obama that allowed transgender individuals to be members of the U.S. military. The ban will affect not only the recruitment of new members, but also plans to ban current transgender individuals from serving and receiving medical treatment.

     “Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail,” President Trump said via Twitter on July 26.                                               

    A passion and desire to want to fight and protect our country should not be stopped by gender biases. Any well qualified candidate should be eligible for recruitment. Work ethic, skill and natural talent should rise to the top over all other factors. 

     “I find the President’s statement about this to be reprehensible and belittling to the active service members who identify as transgender and who have served their country proudly,” said Dr. Daniel Tillapaugh, assistant professor of counselor education, in an email interview.

    According to an article from  The Hill titled, “Pelosi: ‘Pure prejudice’ driving Trump’s transgender military ban,” this ban is an act of discrimination towards transgender individuals and has even been called unconstitutional by congressional Democrats who argue in the article that “transgender people are protected under the Constitution from discrimination on the basis of sex, as well as that military policy can be ruled unconstitutional particularly when it did not arise from the combined wisdom of a congressional and executive branch review.”

    Tillapaugh said that this means up to 6,630 individuals would be affected. They have been training and are at risk of losing their jobs because of their gender identity. This has nothing to do with their performance. It has nothing to do with what they can and cannot do. 

    “The assumption and belief was that having openly gay, bisexual, and lesbian service members would be a disruption and burden, but that has largely been proved to be untrue.  The concerns about what transgender service members might have on the military are largely unfounded and wrapped up in transphobia,” said Tillapaugh.

    Currently there are 18 countries that allow transgender individuals in the military. Australia, Israel, and the United Kingdom have become inclusive of trans people in their military with no evidence of a negative effect.

    This transgender policy is a step backwards for the LGBTQ+ community. I thought our country was more accepting of diversity, but instances like this shows our country still has a long way to come in terms of equality. Let the lawsuits continue to roll in. We must fight for our country to reverse this unjust ban. This is not what is best for protecting the security of our country.

    Bridget Sjolie