Evangelist Franklin Graham says he is “disgusted” over the Obama administration’s decision to spend up to $8.4 million annually for hormonal treatments and sex-change surgeries for transgender military personnel.
In a Facebook post, Graham wrote:
[W]hen I read about the government spending $8.4 million of taxpayers’ money a year—starting today—for things like gender reassignment and hormone therapy for military personnel, I’m disgusted! Aren’t you? This is the kind of immoral garbage President Obama and his administration are allowing to be put in place in our country. $8.4 million a year—with all the things our military needs—can you believe that? Things like this need to be stopped. It just shows you how morally warped our politicians have become.
As USA Today reports, beginning in October, the federal government will be funding “gender reassignment treatments” and surgeries for soldiers who claim to be transgender. The cost is expected to be between $2.4 million and $8.4 million annually.
A recent RAND Corp. study for the Pentagon finds between 1,320 and 6,630 transgender troops in the active-duty force of 1.3 million.
According to the study, between 30 and 140 hormone treatments and between 25 and 130 sex-change surgeries would be provided per year to active service members. Other healthcare costs could be between $2.4 million and $8.4 million.
A policy statement released by Defense Secretary Ash Carter in June states: “[T]ransgender individuals shall be allowed to serve in the military,” and that “open service by transgender Service members… is consistent with military readiness and with strength through diversity.”
Additionally, the Defense Department says a service member’s medical condition or treatment “related to their gender identity” will be treated. Beginning October 3, Tricare will cover hormone treatments and therapy for service personnel with gender dysphoria. Sex-change surgeries will be performed at a military hospital or, if unavailable, at a private hospital.
Like Graham, Ron Crews, executive director of Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty, said the government’s use of taxpayer funds for transgender treatments is inefficient since service members having treatments or surgeries will be unable to be deployed for long periods of time.
“I think this is a gross misuse of military medical dollars that should be used to make our military forces deployable or to help those who are wounded or injured while they are deployed,” he said, adding that the military is now also spending funds on “tremendous amounts of training” on transgender education.