Peter Sprigg is Senior Fellow for Family Policy Studies at Family Research Council. This article appeared in The Stream on December 18, 2016.
With only a few weeks left of Barack Obama’s presidency, his administration is doing all it can to solidify the radical changes it has introduced — especially in the armed forces. After winning repeal in 2010 (from a lame duck Congress) of the law against homosexuality in the armed forces, the administration set out in 2016 to complete its extreme LGBT makeover of the military by opening the doors to transgender service members as well. Defense Secretary Ash Carter revoked longstanding policies against transgender military service on July 1, 2016, and a year later, on July 1, 2017, the armed forces are currently scheduled to begin actively recruiting persons who identify as transgender.
A series of regulations have since been handed down explaining how “gender transition” will be handled in the military, as well as what medical treatments will be made available to the spouses and children of service members. Now, however, the direct indoctrination of the force into accepting this radical agenda has begun.
First, the Washington Free Beacon reported that the U.S. Naval Academy would be offering 90-minute “Transgender 101” classes to both staff and midshipmen. The training was to be conducted by two Google employees, Kevin Perry and Marnie Florin. Florin is reportedly a “diversity consultant” who “identifies as gender neutral and goes by the pronouns ‘ze’ or ‘they.’”
While the training at the Academy was described as optional, it may only be a test run. The Free Beacon reports, “All active duty sailors must complete transgender training by January 31.”
The report also noted, “Midshipmen and staff who take the training course will get the opportunity to display cards outside their door that show they are allies of the LGBT community.” (Yet only four months ago, a military court upheld the court-martial of a Marine who dared to post a single Bible verse by her work station.)
Family Research Council has been contacted by service members expressing concern about “transgender training” in the military. One enlisted naval reservist spoke to me on December 14 about the transgender training he recently experienced during a drill weekend at a Naval Reserve Center on the west coast. This session did not feature any transgender “diversity consultants” — rather, it was the Commanding Officer of the Center who presented a 45-minute PowerPoint.
Attendees were informed that the issue is “not up for negotiation or debate.” To service members who may have religious objections to the new policy, the CO said, “Talk to me and I’ll help you.” Help you find an accommodation that will allow you to act upon your deeply-held religious beliefs? Oh, no — “help you get out of the Navy.”
The reservists were told that not only will they be required to serve with colleagues who identify as transgender, but they will also be expected to use the pronouns of the person’s choice. In other words, those who believe (correctly) that one’s male-ness or female-ness is a God-given biological characteristic that is identified at birth (and fixed even earlier) will be required to speak lies in order to avoid showing “disrespect.” This is ironic at best (and tragic at worst), given the emphasis that the military usually places on integrity, honesty, and truth.
I mentioned to the reservist that the military’s hostility to religious viewpoints would likely damage recruiting in the very parts of the country where people are most likely to consider a military career, such as the Bible Belt. He agreed, noting that “west coast liberals aren’t pounding the doors to join the military.”
Although transgender activists vehemently deny that any privacy problems arise from allowing those with gender dysphoria to use bathrooms, sleeping and bathing facilities designated for the opposite biological sex, the Navy is implicitly making concessions to such problems. In new policy guidance announced November 7, the Navy stated, “There will be new modesty policies to allow for increased privacy in berthing, shower and head facilities.”
I recently wrote an op-ed explaining the medical reasons why allowing people who have had, or are having, hormone therapy and or gender reassignment surgery to serve in the military is a threat to readiness and the ability to deploy anywhere in the world. It is becoming increasingly clear that it is a threat to freedom of thought, speech, and religion as well.