Twenty-four Republicans banded together on Thursday to defeat an amendment which would have ended former President Barack Obama’s 2016 policy of funding “gender-reassignment” surgery for soldiers who want to live as members of the opposite sex.
The amendment to the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act was offered by Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R, Mo.). It would have prohibited the use of taxpayer dollars to pay for the non-military medical task of converting healthy soldiers into “transgender” soldiers who face lifelong dependence on hormones and surgery.
The July 13 vote saw Democrats vote in lockstep to defeat the amendment, despite the national unpopularity of the transgender ideology. They were joined by 24 Republicans who broke with their party to assist the Democrats to defeat the amendment, without any visible objections by the GOP’s business-focused leadership.
The offer of free medical care to gender-confused soldiers is part of the broader effort by Obama to have the Pentagon affirm and implement the transgender ideology, which says that people can have a “gender” different from their biological sex. The ideology also says that a person’s legal sex is defined by their self-assessed gender — not by their biology — and that other Americans must agree with people who say they are a member of the opposite sex.
Many Republicans praised the Hartzler amendment and criticized the Obama transgender policy. “It makes no sense to create soldiers who are unable to fight and win our nation’s wars,” Hartzler said during debate on the bill, according to the Associated Press.
“Figure out whether you’re man or a woman before you join,” Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter of California said. “U.S. taxpayers shouldn’t have to foot the bill.”
Amendment supporters say the Pentagon’s financial bill for accepting transgender claims could reach $3.7 billion over the next ten years.
So far, the military’s most famous transsexual soldier is Private Bradley Manning, who copied and released 90,000 military reports from Iraq and Afghanistan. He was released from jail in early 2017 after Obama reduced his jail sentence. Manning has since changed his name to Chelsea Manning.
Democrats embrace the transgender ideology and called the GOP amendment “bigoted” for not saying men can be women.
Rep. Jared Polis (D, CO) insisted the amendment would hurt the military. “It would have a negative impact on morale, a negative impact on retention and move us away from the merit-based system which we now have, where we have one set of rules applied to everybody,” he said.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D, CA) slammed Republicans for attempting to “rip away” health care for soldiers. “Republicans should be ashamed: instead of protecting the men and women who risk their lives to defend our freedoms, they are fighting to rip away the health care of thousands of brave service members,” Pelosi said in hyperbolically. “This cowardly Republican amendment targeting transgender men and women in uniform effectively bans these patriotic Americans from serving their country.”
But the Center for Military Readiness, a policy group located in Michigan, criticized the current transgender policy, calling it “absurd and sometimes bizarre plans incorporated in Obama Administration transgender mandates.”
In a statement, the group also said that the policies are dangerous. “Social experiments with the lives of people who deserve better will create many problems that detract from impacts on morale and readiness.”
The Republicans who support the transgender ideology are mostly social liberals (click “See More” in the Facebook post to view the list):
Obama’s Secretary of Defense, Ash Carter, created the problem of having to pay for the medical needs of transsexual soldiers by repealing the ban on transgenders serving openly in the military in 2016.
However, the plan is apparently very unpopular among top leaders and the rank-and-file, partly because it would female soldiers to share rooms and showers with biological men who have been classified by the military as women.
If the military agrees to establish the transgender ideology, the pro-transgender campaign will be boosted in the nation’s courtrooms, capitols, and classrooms, said Austen Ruse, president of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute. “Every transgender activist can point to the military to say, ‘They’ve done, it, so we should do it… in grade schools, high schools, colleges, everywhere,” he added.
The progressive push to bend Americans’ attitudes and their male-and-female civic society around the idea of “gender” has already attacked and cracked popular social rules for how Americans handle the useful differences between complementary and equal men and women.
These pro-gender claims have an impact on different-sex bathrooms, shelters for battered women, sports leagues for girls, hiking groups for boys, K-12 curricula, university speech codes, religious freedoms, free speech, the social status of women, parents’ rights in childrearing, practices to help teenagers, women’s expectations of beauty, culture and civic society, scientific research, prison safety, civic ceremonies, school rules, men’s sense of masculinity, law enforcement, and children’s sexual privacy.
A study of the 2010 census showed that roughly 1-in-2,400 adults had changed their name from one sex to the other sex.
Polls show that strong majority of ordinary Americans oppose the transgender claims, they want sexual privacy in bathrooms and shower rooms — especially in K-12 schools. Even as Americans want to keep their sexual privacy, most are also willing to be polite and friendly to the very few “transgender” people who wish to live as members of the other sex.
*UPDATE* Rep. Brian Mast (R-FL), one of the 24 Republicans who voted against the amendment, went to the House floor afterward–per the congressional record–to announce he had mistakenly voted against the amendment. He says he meant to vote for it. His vote flipping back still would not have changed the outcome of the vote, which failed 209-214.
Note: An earlier version of this story included an embedded tweet with an inaccurate list of GOP members who voted against this amendment. We’ve replaced that tweet with the accurate list of members via a Facebook post from Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC). We regret the error.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at email@example.com.