Resolution expressing opposition to banning service in the Armed Forces by openly transgender individuals
- Congressman Joseph P. Kennedy III (D-MA)
Putting America’s Strength and Safety First
- The U.S. Military’s primary concern is to defend American citizens and their interests, at home and abroad. Every one of the Pentagon’s policies should be directed towards this end, as should every tax dollar allocated to the military.
- The Department of Defense’s new policy is not about discriminating against anyone’s identity. It is about maintaining certain physical and mental health standards that maximize military readiness and effectiveness. There are many conditions that exclude willing Americans from service — such as diabetes, asthma, depressive disorders, and minor injuries. But the desire to serve does not constitute the qualification to serve.
- The DOD’s policy is not a “ban” on transgender service members; otherwise qualified persons can serve in their biological sex, even if they identify as transgender. Applicants experiencing mental distress as a result of gender dysphoria can be denied.
How Does Gender Dysphoria Impair Military Readiness?
- Individuals diagnosed with gender dysphoria feel such an incongruence between their biological sex and the gender with which they identify that they experience “clinically significant distress and impairment of functioning.”
- Generally these individuals experience severe anxiety eight to nine times the rate of individuals without gender dysphoria, and attempt suicide at rates eight to ten times higher. Military service is already associated with high rates of suicide attempts, and it would be very dangerous to these individuals to compound their stress and anxiety.
- All military members on active duty must be ready to serve at all times. The medical interventions used to affirm one’s gender identity over his or her biological sex, such as hormone treatments and surgeries, are costly, time-consuming, drastically decrease military readiness, and there is no evidence that they provide long-term relief.
- The Pentagon has spent 8 million dollars on sex reassignment procedures for transgender service members since 2016.
- Over 70 percent of prime military-age Americans don’t meet military readiness standards.
- Individuals who have undergone sex reassignment surgery are 19 times more likely to die by suicide than the general population.