San Francisco, March 14, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A controversial former official from the Clinton administration is urging the U.S. Army to change its policy excluding transgendered people from serving in the military.
Joycelyn Elders, Clinton’s former U.S. surgeon general, was part of a panel commissioned by the Palm Center, a think tank based at San Francisco State University, that issued a report this week finding that there is “no compelling medical rationale” to ban transgender individuals from the military.
The panel was funded in part by Jennifer Pritzker, a billionaire and former Army lieutenant colonel who stated that he was transgendered last year.
Elders is no stranger to courting controversy with her views. She was removed from her high position by Clinton in 1994 after recommending that children be taught how to masturbate. She has also been criticized for her advocacy of drug legalization, and has taken a strongly pro-abortion position, once declaring, “We really need to get over this love affair with the fetus and start worrying about children.”
The Associated Press reports that current Army policy banning transgenders is based on concerns that dealing with the medical complications that come with transgenderism, including hormone treatments and sex change surgeries, would be too difficult and expensive.
However, Elders and the Palm Center commission argued that these concerns don’t justify the policy. Regarding financial considerations, they wrote that the hormone treatments and surgical interventions required for sex-reassignment fall within the “scope of health care services routinely provided to non-transgender military personnel.”
Several Western nations, including Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom, allow transgender military personnel. However, a Department of Defence spokesman told CBS that there are no plans to change existing policy and regulations.
The Center for Military Readiness slammed the findings of the panel, arguing that “the military’s goal is to defend the country, not serve as a giant social experiment.”
Elaine Donnelly, the president of the group, said opening the doors to transgender servicemen would bring “an extra burden on men and women in the military that they certainly don’t need and they don’t deserve.”
The Obama administration has called for significant reductions in military spending. However, they have also been the strongest force for change in the military’s policies surrounding homosexuals, successfully pushing for the repeal of Clinton-era Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, policy, which banned open homosexuals from serving.