By Rory Mondshein
President Donald J. Trump’s economic argument for the Transgender Ban is a completely falsified distraction.
➢ Not all of the 1,320–6,630 transgender military members will seek transitional treatment.
➢ Even if the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) extended transition services to members, it would result in an annual increase of 0.04% (which is minimal!).
➢ President Trump’s argument about costs and morale are similar to Smith & Grady v. U.K. (which concerned excluding gays from service) and the European Court Of Human Rights (ECHR) determined that the policy unnecessarily restricted rights. Acknowledging the precedence, the same arguments can be made in the Supreme Court of the United States where this will likely go.
Now, can we please acknowledge that President Trump’s Twitter announcement about Transgender Service is a distraction away from other current events, including:
➢ The federal investigation into Donald Trump Jr.’s conversations with Russian lawyers, which yields questions about foreign interference in our election?
➢ The Senate’s inability to pass Trumpcare because of 9 Republican defectors, even though President Trump said he would repeal Obamacare on Day 1?
➢ President Trump’s record-low approval ratings?
➢ The ostensible battle with Attorney General Sessions, who (much to the President’s chagrin) recused himself from the Trump Investigation, and the President cannot fire him without yielding questions about his innocence?
LGBTQIA issues are indubitably important, and we should be talking about them all the time because advocacy involves more than just speaking up when it is popular. That said, I do not mean to undermine the very real struggle that trans people face every single day, but I do think it is important to focus on the aforementioned underlying issues that President Trump is trying to hide and give that equal attention/coverage.