An Obama administration decision to endorse transgender individuals in the army has been placed under a six-month suspension by the Pentagon. Secretary of Defence James Mattis announced this decision earlier today, justifying his decision as follows:
Since becoming the Secretary of Defense, I have emphasized that the Department of Defense must measure each policy decision against one critical standard: will the decision affect the readiness and lethality of the force? Put another way, how will the decision affect the ability of America’s military to defend the nation? It is against this standard that I provide the following guidance on the way forward in accessing transgender individuals into the military Services.
This decision stems from the liberal idea that gender and sex are different, and that people can have a gender identity separate to their biological sex. It came with other decisions including those on transgender bathrooms and pushing transgender acceptance in schools.
Obama’s push to allow transgenders into the army was widely opposed because it would mean soldiers would have to share spaces with those of the opposite sex. It also meant the US military would have to pay for gender reassignment surgery and hormone therapy.
The suspension appears to be popular among voters. A Rasmussen poll suggests that 48% of voters are in favour of the delay. Only 23% of voters, according to the poll, believe the Obama decision would be beneficial for the army.
Transgender recruits already serving in the army will not have their positions affected.