(Natural News) When former President Obama and a Democrat-controlled Congress repealed the 1990’s Clinton-era “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, enabling gays and lesbians to serve in the U.S. military by forbidding recruiters from inquiring about sexual orientation, the commanders of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard carried out the policy, no questions asked.
Then, during the final year of his presidency — when he wasn’t overseeing the “Spygate” operation — Obama signed an executive order lifting a military ban on transgender troops, the service branch commanders did the same thing: They received their orders from the commander-in-chief and carried them out.
Without question there were more than a few flag officers (one-star and above) who weren’t at all happy with the Democrats’ and Obama’s decisions — not because they are homophobes and bigots but because as professional military members, they were well aware of the threats to good order and discipline aberrant lifestyles can and do cause.
But they carried out their orders nonetheless.
Now, however, National Guard flag-level officers in five states believe that because they don’t like or agree with the current commander-in-chief, Donald J. Trump, somehow they are no longer bound to follow orders and policy when it comes to his policy directives and decisions.
You may recall that shortly after taking office, POTUS Trump in 2017 announced, in a series of tweets, that he planned to reverse Obama’s executive order. At the time, he claimed that the Pentagon (and by default, American taxpayers who fund the Pentagon) could not “be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender [troops] would entail.”
The costs aside, it is the disruption to good order and discipline — requirements for military cohesion and effectiveness — that most concerned POTUS, based on advice he likely received from defense advisers.
Soon after the president implemented his policy via executive order (which was the same way Obama implemented his order), it was, of course, challenged in federal courts as ‘discriminatory.’
Well, that argument might hold water if service in the military were a right. It’s not; it’s a privilege. Besides, due to one or more physical, mental, or legal conditions, not every American can serve or is permitted to serve.
The president is commander-in-chief whether you like him or not
The Supreme Court recognized that reality and as such ruled in January to overturn a lower court’s injunction blocking the policy from taking effect. Under the rule, transgender troops currently serving can remain but anyone who has been diagnosed with “gender dysphoria” no longer qualifies to serve.
That’s exactly the right balance argued Thomas Spoehr, a retired Army lieutenant general, and director of the Center for National Defense at The Heritage Foundation. He wrote:
The Pentagon’s transgender policy is no different from its treatment of hundreds of other medically disqualifying conditions such as bipolar disorder, asthma, or diabetes. These qualifications exist for two reasons—to ensure individuals are able to perform at the level expected, and to prevent harm to higher risk individuals.
And yet, National Guard commanders in California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, and New Mexico — all Democrat strongholds — say they are going to seek ways around the ban, according to the New York Daily News. (Related: Survey: Fewer than 4 in 10 military members, vets support trans troops.)
Maj. Gen. Matthew Beevers, the assistant Adjutant General for California, brushed off the rule saying it is “the least of our concerns.”
“Anybody who is willing and able to serve state [and] nation should have the opportunity to serve. It’s unconscionable in my mind that we would fundamentally discriminate against a certain class of people based on their gender identity,” he said, The Hill added.
“We are not going to discharge any transgender individual from serving in our state National Guard, nor would this state ever discriminate against someone based on their gender identity,” noted Tripp Stelnicki, the communications director for New Mexico’s governor.
The policy doesn’t call for removal; it forbids new transgenders from joining under most circumstances.
Still, the defiance is remarkable as well as unprecedented, and could lead to a national security crisis if these states attempt to defy POTUS Trump if or when he attempts to call up their Guard units for federal service.