• Key Vote: House
  • Mar 26, 2019

KEY VOTE: “NO” on the “Expressing opposition to banning service in the Armed Forces by openly transgender individuals” (H. Res.124)

Heritage Action opposes H.Res. 124 “Expressing opposition to banning service in the Armed Forces by openly transgender individuals” and will include it as a key vote on our legislative scorecard.

This week, the House will vote on H.Res. 124, “Expressing opposition to banning service in the Armed Forces by openly transgender individuals.” This resolution inaccurately characterizes the recent Department of Defense (DOD) policy as a “transgender ban” and prioritizes social engineering over military readiness and unit cohesion.

Although any American’s desire to serve in the military is admirable, allowing Americans with gender dysphoria to serve would jeopardize military readiness and threaten national security. Multiple peer-reviewed studies and actual survey data confirm that people with gender dysphoria (a marked incongruence between one’s expressed gender and assigned gender) experience between eight and nine times more anxiety than individuals without gender dysphoria and attempt suicide at similar rates. According to retired general Tom Spoehr, the Heritage Foundation’s Director for the Center of National Defense,

It would, therefore, be reckless and ill-advised to allow individuals demonstrably at a higher risk of suicide and anxiety to join the military and be subject to the increased stresses of military duty—both for the readiness of their units and for the safety of the individual.

Individuals with gender dysphoria would also likely need to undergo countless hormone, medical, and surgical treatments throughout the duration of their military service. In regards to his own time in the military, Tom Spoehr says,

If soldiers were going to need continuing medical attention to treat their condition or if there was a question about whether they would be able to serve in the harshest of battlefield conditions, they were not allowed to join. Even an individual with sleep apnea, who needed only a device that required access to electrical power, was ineligible… On this basis alone, under existing rules applicable to all, [Americans with gender dysphoria] would not be allowed to join.

In response to President Trump’s initial announcement in July 2017, Tom Spoehr explains,

President Donald J. Trump prudently followed the advice of military leaders who determined that the last administration's policy did not advance military readiness. At a time when growing foreign threats are stretching our military’s resources, our priority should be on maintaining military readiness and directing taxpayer funds towards mission-critical purposes. Respecting the dignity of all people does not mean subjecting taxpayers to the tremendous medical costs of sex reassignment and allowing the enlistment of individuals whose resilience to the rigors of combat is uncertain.

It is absolutely necessary for the DOD to recruit those Americans who are best qualified and who stand the greatest chance of withstanding the physical and mental demands of military service if the U.S. military is going to triumph over its enemies. All members of Congress who care about military readiness, national security, and the safety and mental health of our service members should oppose this resolution.

Related:

Heritage Foundation: Should Transgender Americans be Allowed in the Military? Not So Fast
Heritage Foundation: Why Gender Dysphoria Must Remain a Bar to Military Service
Heritage Foundation: Heritage Statement on Transgender Military Service Announcement
Heritage Foundation: 5 Good Reasons Why Transgender Accommodations Aren’t Compatible With Military Realities
The Daily Signal: Taxpayers Foot Bill for Soldier to Get Sex Reassignment Surgery
Heritage Action for America 115th Congress Key Vote: Amendments to House NDAA
Heritage Action for America 114th Congress Key Vote: “No” on Maloney Anti-Religious Freedom Amendment, As Modified

Heritage Action opposes H.Res. 124 “Expressing opposition to banning service in the Armed Forces by openly transgender individuals” and will include it as a key vote on our legislative scorecard.

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