OTTAWA, December 8, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A recent addendum to the Canadian Forces military administration manual says that military personnel who change their sex or sexual identity “have a right to privacy and respect,” but must conform to the dress code and standards of deportment of their “target” gender.  Thus male soldiers who believe they are women will be required to wear women’s apparel, and vice versa.

The document defines transsexual as a person born with the physical characteristics of one sex who emotionally and psychologically feels they belong to the opposite sex, whether they have undergone sex-change surgery or not.

Rana Sioufi, a spokeswoman for the National Defense Department, told the media that the new directive was produced in response to inquiries from administrative staff on how to deal with gender-confused service members.

“The CF is unique in that it must recruit, house, clothe, train and deploy its members,” Sioufi said. “This requires clear direction and standardized instructions to deal with individuals who may not fall into the generally accepted gender categories.”

In 1998, Canadian Forces agreed to afford its soldiers sex-change operations, along with hormonal and psychiatric treatment, at a cost to Canadian taxpayers of between $20,000 and $40,000 per procedure.

Colonel Scott Cameron, director of medical services for the military in 1998, told the media at the time that the decision was a moral and medical obligation as most provincial health care plans pay for sex-change surgery. However, he called the desire to undergo “gender reassignment” an “illness.”

Scott Taylor, publisher of Esprit de Corps military magazine, told the National Post that most service members resent the “politically correct” policies of an “out of touch headquarters staff,” especially in light of the recent report by the military ombudsman that criticized the National Defence Department for curtailing support for veterans and the families of fallen soldiers.

“You couldn’t get much worse timing on that internally,” he said, commenting on the release of the transsexual dress code document on the heels of the ombudsman’s report. “It’s so removed from what the guys are facing over in Afghanistan ... That doesn’t really relate to dress codes of the transgendered.”

The full version of the Canadian Forces Dress Instructions, manual A-AD-265-000/AG-001, is available here.

Contact info for the Minister of National Defence:

The Honourable Peter MacKay
National Defence Headquarters
Major-General George R. Pearkes Building
101 Colonel By Drive
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
K1A 0K2
Phone: 613-996-3100
Fax: 613-995-8189
Email: dnd_mdn@forces.gc.ca