Wednesday, August 12, 2020
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Trump bans transgender people from military

President Donald Trump tweeted today that transgender people would not be allowed to serve in the military, because of the high medical costs they incur, the New York Times reports.

As much as this ban itself may be a distraction from other presidential matters—replacing Obamacare, a Russia investigation, and so on—the statement itself has troubled many people, judging from the comments posted on newspaper articles about the decision, which Defense Secretary Jim Mattis found out about only a day in advance.

Furthermore, Mr Trump’s reference to “my” generals is equally troubling. Military personnel serve on behalf of all Americans, not at the pleasure or whim of the president.

I suppose what troubled me most about the decision was the idea that any group may be next. I’m not sure how much money the military spends on healthcare for transgender people, and I’m not sure how much, on a percentage basis, their presence in our fighting forces is disruptive, but who will be next? What group will be banned next from volunteering to serve?

News continues to traipse all over the wire when it comes to transgender students using bathrooms in schools according to their gender identity, not their biological sex.

A federal district court heard arguments on Monday of this week in Pennsylvania. Students from the Boyertown Area Senior High School are suing the school over its transgender bathroom policy, Penn Live reports.

A plaintiff in the case, a high school girl, testified that she had walked into a girls’ bathroom and saw a male student standing near the sink. “I saw the reflection of a male student standing at the sink washing their hands,” she was quoted as testifying. “I didn’t know what to do. I was in shock for a moment … I ran away.”

Her lawyer asked her if she had any objections to lesbians using the girls’ bathroom. “Absolutely not,” she answered. The same applies to transgender students, “as long as they’re the same sex as me. I should be able to use the one marked ‘girls’ and expect that only girls will be in there. My privacy was violated. The school didn’t protect me.”

UPDATE 7/28: In addition to court cases popping up here and there, state departments of education are weighing in. A new “toolkit” from the Minnesota Department of Education seeks to prevent bullying and exclusion of transgender or gender-nonconforming students in the state’s public and charter schools. The 11-page toolkit has already been sharply criticized by conservative Christians. “Predominantly, the toolkit considers only the perspective of gender-nonconforming students, and dismisses and ignores [the] concerns of other students and parents, and includes veiled threats,” NBC News quoted Stephani Liesmaki, communications director for the Minnesota Family Council, as saying.
Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more information, see the About page.

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