The U.S. Military is studying the potential effects of allowing nonbinary troops to serve openly (effects which presumably would include happier, safer military members, a more inclusive force, and less discrimination) and Marsha Blackburn is not happy about it.
We already know that Marsha Blackburn has an issue with transgender people, and in fact, demanded that Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson “define woman” as part of her SCOTUS confirmation hearing. When Jackson refused to answer the question on the grounds that it isn’t her area of expertise nor relevant, Blackburn attacked her for it — but as HuffPost reports, Blackburn herself dodged the same question when reporters asked her for the ‘right’ answer, later emailing to define a woman as “two x chromosomes” and refusing to respond to follow-up questions addressing other genotypes.
Now she’s turning on nonbinary people, quizzing Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin about the Pentagon’s endeavors to make it safer and easier for nonbinary individuals to serve openly.
Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN): “Dept of Defense is studying the issue of allowing gender nonbinary people to serve in the military, is that true?”
Defense Sec. Austin: “I am supportive of allowing any person that’s eligible and can meet the qualifications to serve their country.” pic.twitter.com/M1Oue6J08a
— The Recount (@therecount) April 7, 2022
The military did not implode when gay, bisexual, and lesbian troops were allowed to stop hiding their identities, and in the same vein, transgender and nonbinary troops have served for time untold. The current movement is to allow them to do so openly, but Blackburn uses fabricated financial concerns to argue against this.
One Navy officer described to Military.com the experience of going on deployment and being required to sleep “in what was little more than a “broom closet,” separate from everyone else in the unit a floor away,” due to the U.S. Navy’s policy of gender-segregated dorms. Another military member who is also nonbinary described “pretty much leading a double life,” and only disclosing their nonbinary gender identity to necessary personnel as part of the process of leaving the military, which they felt driven to do because of the difficulties of not being able to serve openly.
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Steph Bazzle reports on social issues and religion for Hill Reporter. She focuses on stories that speak to everyone's right to practice what they believe in and receive the support of their communities and government officials. You can reach her at Steph@HillReporter.com