|Hate group leader Tony Perkins with Trump and Pence|
As much as I despise Donald Trump and view him as a clear and present danger to America, in some way Mike Pence presents an even more insidious danger. Pence - like Rick Santorum, Ken Cuccinelli and some other virulently anti-gay Republicans - is a religious fanatic and will go to any lengths to quell his inner demons. One of his main demons concerns homosexuality due to, in my belief, the fact that he, like Santorum and Cuccinelli, is a self-loathing closeted gay who somehow thinks that make life a living hell for other LGBT individuals makes amends for his own secret lusts. (Pence also spent his early years as a Catholic, which I know first hand screws one up unbelievably if you are LGBT). The only positive thing Pence did is not have seven children like Santorum and Cuccinelli did as they tried to convince the world - and most importantly themselves - that they aren't really gay. Thus, it is no surprise to learn that Pence along with a group of professional gay-haters was behind Der Trumpenführer's latest anti-transgender military ban. Among this cabal was hate group leader Tony Perkins, in my view one of the most dishonest individuals on the planet. A piece in Think Progress looks at this latest attack which is based on the usual Christofascist lies. Here are excerpts:
Then President Trump announced a new ban on transgender people serving in the military late Friday, it was somewhat of a surprise — Defense Secretary Jim Mattis had reportedly recommended in February that Trump allow transgender people to serve. It turns out that Vice President Pence and some of the country’s most prominent anti-LGBTQ activists had a role in reversing the outcome, which explains why the report explaining the decision is rife with anti-trans junk science.
Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern reported Friday night that, according to multiple sources, Pence played “a leading role” in creating the report, along with Ryan T. Anderson of the Heritage Foundation, which has been dubbed “Trump’s favorite think tank,” and Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council (FRC), an anti-LGBTQ hate group. Both Heritage and FRC praised the report Friday. According to Stern’s reporting, it was true that Mattis favored allowing transgender military service, but Pence “effectively overruled” him.
A separate source independently confirmed to ThinkProgress Saturday that Pence was involved, characterizing him as forming his own ad hoc “working group,” including Anderson and Perkins, separate from the panel of experts Mattis had assembled.
Mattis’ original document is not currently publicly available, but it was widely reported that Mattis favored an inclusive approach that resembled what had originally been proposed by Defense Secretary Ash Carter under President Obama in 2016.
[T]he report features numerous anti-trans talking points that FRC and other anti-LGBTQ groups have used in various campaigns favoring discrimination against transgender people. It also attempts to distort the research on transgender health in ways that directly parallel Anderson’s recently released book, When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment.
One of the most obvious biases in the new report is an emphasis on concerns about how transgender people in the military might somehow infringe on the privacy of other soldiers — particularly women. These are the same arguments Perkins, Anderson, and others have made in justifying overturning LGBTQ protections in Houston or defending North Carolina’s HB2, a law that mandated discrimination against transgender people.
According to the report, transgender people would violate other troops’ privacy simply by sharing a space with them . . . . Not so subtly, the report concludes that unit cohesion will deteriorate if the anti-transgender prejudices of other service members are not catered to.
“[U]nit cohesion” is the same hollow argument that was previously used to defend “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT), a law that prohibited lesbian, gay, and bisexual people from serving openly in the military. Such warnings even included near-identical concerns about shared shower use. Following DADT’s repeal, a study showed that LGB inclusion had no negative impact on military morale, despite similar warnings.
Nowhere does the report even mention that every major medical organization in the U.S. has arrived at a consensus that transgender people should be affirmed in their gender identities and supported in their transitions. The American Medical Association has even explicitly expressed support for lifting the military’s ban on transgender service. The report likewise makes no mention of the widely-used standards of care developed by the World Professional Association of Transgender Health (WPATH), which recognize the benefits of affirmative care.
As has become inevitable in just about every attempt to justify anti-trans discrimination (including Anderson’s book), the study also wildly distorts studies about the suicidality of transgender people.
The report essentially manufactures doubt about the health outcomes of transgender people to justify the very kind of discrimination that is the most significant factor for trans people’s negative experiences.
But as the report largely reflects the views of Pence, a longtime opponent of LGBTQ equality, and some of the top anti-LGBTQ activists in the country, it’s easy to see how it arrived at such discriminatory conclusions.
It is very difficult to lie more than Tony Perkins who, like Trump, should be assumed to be lying if his lips are moving.