Thursday, July 27, 2017

In equal service

The whole idea of exclusion is a foreign concept to me, so when President Donald Trump announced yesterday that the US military will not allow transgender individuals to serve “in any capacity,” I immediately began shaking my head.  The military had excluded gays from service, even though many secretly served.  Other countries had gay men and women in their military and it just didn't make sense that we should say no, so I marched and protested with others, and I know this blog is NOT about me, but it is about justice and equality and it just is not right to exclude.

We finally won and gay men and women are now able to openly serve in the armed forces.  The earth did not stop rotating.  There were no ill effects.  Under President Barack Obama, a new policy allowing transgender service members to openly serve finally gave our military the equality that had been lacking.

Then came yesterday's announcement.

Now I cannot tell you how many transgender servicemembers there are, but the number is in the thousands.  I have seen no evidence that their service on the whole has been anything less than positive.  There are even some outstanding examples.  Although the White House said this is a military decision, I must disagree.  This is a political decision and it is a decision based in prejudice.  "Let's treat the other person differently."  NO!  That's not what America is about.

Why are so many people concerned about the gender identity of others?  What business is it of anyone?  Seriously.  Think about it long and hard.  How does the gender of another person effect you?  Even if you have a problem with someone else transitioning (which is really none of your business), at the end of the day only one thing is important here.  We are talking about human beings and every single human being deserves to be treated equally and fairly. 

Retired US Army Lieutenant General Mark Hertling called President Trump's military ban on transgender troops "mean to people who have volunteered to serve their country."  I agree.  There is just no other way to describe it, but sadly there are those who are in agreement with the ban.  When did we become such a mean nation.  Let's get back to kindness and fairness and back to "liberty and justice for all."

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