The newly inaugurated Biden-Harris administration is off to a rocky start with military men and women. Serious affronts have come from Congress as well as the White House, adding insults to injuries with even more damage on the way.
It was bad enough when Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., insinuated during a CNN interview that most of the 25,000 National Guard soldiers deployed to guard the Capitol during the Inauguration were white males and probably Donald Trump voters, so they might be in the “class” of people who “may want to do something” to cause trouble.
Then we saw 5,000 troops banished to a cold parking garage with one electrical outlet, no Internet, two restroom stalls, and high risks of COVID. Not since former First Lady Hillary Clinton treated uniformed White House social aides like personal servants have we seen such disdain for military personnel doing their jobs.
These affronts and reported plans to keep thousands of troops in Washington, D.C. without a clear mission were exceeded by President Joe Biden signing executive orders on his first day.
As predicted, Biden issued an executive order creating special government privileges for gender identity and sexual orientation, a major policy reversal likely to affect the military first. Biden also reversed Trump’s order ending critical race theory (CRT) instruction programs in all government agencies.
This means military schools at all levels likely will introduce abrasive CRT programs that accuse non-minorities of “white supremacy” and “systemic racism.” In CRT world, denials of racism prove racism. It is difficult to imagine a more divisive way to demoralize the troops instead of uniting them as an effective, cohesive force.
President Biden is especially letting down military women, who will be ordered to share their private facilities with biological males who claim to be transgender. Directives issued during the Obama-Biden administration, such as the 2016 “Military Transgender Policy Implementation Handbook,” brushed off concerns about personal discomfort and worse. Women, said the guidebook, will just have to “get used to it.”
Eliminating any doubt, Biden’s order explicitly opens doors to sexual minorities who want “access to the restroom, the locker room, or school sports” reserved for the opposite sex. Transgender ideology, which demands acceptance of the unscientific notion that gender is “designated” or “assigned at birth,” disregards psychological and biological realities.
Science shows that human DNA and chromosomes determine each person’s sex. These characteristics exist long before birth and in every cell of a person’s body.
Biological sex does not change with alterations in outward appearance, and abundant scientific research proves that men and women are different in strength, endurance, athletic prowess, and other physical attributes. Activists forget science, however, when it doesn’t suit leftist politics.
The Trump Departments of Education and Justice showed respect for women and science by supporting female athletes fighting for the right to compete against other females, not biological males. Under President Biden’s new gender order, this support will end.
Ecstatic LGBT activists insist that all government agencies must deny the science of DNA, human genetics, and physiology. Women-only teams at military schools, colleges, and service academies will have to accommodate biological men, regardless of the harm done to women.
Military women and athletes deserve respect and fair treatment, but medical issues that detract from deployability and combat readiness are even more important. Consider extensive data published in the 44-page Defense Department report, which justified the 2018 DoD policy regarding transgender people and persons diagnosed with gender dysphoria. The report followed six months of study by a panel of experts, and it cited Military Health System data gathered during the years Obama-Biden transgender policies were in effect.
During that time, 994 active-duty servicemembers diagnosed with gender dysphoria accounted for 30,000 mental health visits, and their medical costs increased almost 300 percent. In some commands operational and maintenance funds were diverted to pay for active-duty transgender servicemembers’ extensive travel to obtain specialized medical care.
Some units also had to bear high operational costs when individuals preparing for gender transition could live a double life during three to twelve months of “real life experience” (RLE) away from their jobs. In addition, sadly, service members with gender dysphoria were eight times more likely to attempt suicide than service members as a whole (12 percent versus 1.5 percent).
Individuals with gender dysphoria deserve compassion and competent psychological care, not politicized medical counselling and treatments. Such mandates disregard medical ethics, which forbid doctors to provide harmful treatments or surgeries that that will not improve and might worsen the patient’s psychological condition. Recent events suggest there will be no “conscience clauses” that respect the deeply held convictions of doctors and nurses, military chaplains, and people of faith.
On January 17, President Trump’s Acting Attorney General, John B. Daukas, issued a 22-page memorandum titled “Application of Bostock v. Clayton County.” It analyzed the Supreme Court’s landmark 2020 Bostock decision, which found that Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act bans employment discrimination on grounds of “sexual orientation” or “gender identity.”
The ruling, inexplicably written by Justice Neil Gorsuch, did not address other issues, such as housing, education, or the military. Among other things, the Daukas Memorandum maintained that Bostock should not affect constitutional rights of religious liberty.
Incoming Biden administration officials pounced. The Daukas Memo was immediately erased from the DoJ website, including Justice Department archives. Behold Orwell’s Ministry of Truth, stuffing wrong-thinking documents right down the memory hole.
President Biden says he wants to unify the country. The new secretary of defense, Lloyd James Austin III, could have helped during his confirmation hearing by confronting Cohen’s insulting suggestion that America’s military is riddled with white supremacists. Austin could make up for that oversight by ensuring non-discrimination and recognition of individual merit, without toxic “woke” ideology dominating the Pentagon.