Transgender Military Ban Revived

Megan Donovan

On January 22, the Supreme Court revived a policy allowing a majority of transgender people who serve in the United States military to no longer be allowed to do so. This was a request made by the Trump administration, reversing a 2016 decision made by President Obama. Those who disagree with this latest development, specifically the LGBT+ community, are opening court cases of their own in opposition.


This notion was first proposed by President Trump by a shocking tweet in July of 2017. It was officially acknowledged in 2018 by the then-Secretary of Defense, James Mattis. This policy bars those who have been diagnosed with gender dysphoria, meaning a person has a conflict between their biological gender and the one they identify as, from serving in the military. Exceptions are limited. However, it is possible for those with the condition to serve, but it must be with their biological sex. In order to better represent the reason for this decision, the Pentagon’s spokesperson Lt. Col. Carla Gleason told CNN that, “DoD’s proposed policy is based on professional military judgment and will ensure that the U.S. Armed Forces remain the most lethal and combat effective fighting force in the world.”


Naturally, this recent situational update has caused upset for those in, or in support of, the Trans community. Many argue that this is a step backwards in human rights and freedoms, or that it does not support the ideas this country was based upon. However, others think this will allow for less money to be spent on medical assistance (of their transition).


Connor McFarland, an Oakdale Sophomore, gave his opinion on the matter. “Personally, I think that there is no point in doing this. What’s the issue? The claim that they might be for economic purposes does not make sense, doesn’t he want 5 billion for a border wall? That’s horrible. I think it’s very discriminatory. They have the right to be who they want to be and if they want to serve our country in the military, they should be allowed to even as they transition,” he claims.


Jacy Duffy, another sophomore at Oakdale, shares a similar sentiment. She expressed her concern on the human rights aspect, “I think that transgender people are just that, they’re people, like the rest of us. I don’t see the point of banning them. All it’s doing is making people upset. It seems like a waste of time.”


Overall, the controversy regarding the military ban will remain no matter the outcome. Nevertheless, the United States military will be undergoing a substantial change, for better or for worse. Only time will tell whether this will improve strength or help economically.