Transgenders to enlist as Trump appeal continues





Baptist Press
by Tom Strode
December 12, 2017

Transgender people will be able to enlist in the U.S. military beginning Jan. 1, the Department of Defense announced Monday (Dec. 11).

The announcement followed a federal judge’s ruling the same day that allowed a court order to remain in effect that blocked President Trump’s ban on transgender people in the armed forces. Trump said in a series of tweets in July the federal government would not permit people who identify as a different gender than their biological sex to serve in the military.

The Pentagon said Dec. 11 it would accept transgender applicants beginning the first of the year while the Department of Justice appeals court rulings in an attempt to permit an ongoing policy review that is to be completed before April.

Southern Baptist ethicist Andrew Walker expressed compassion for those who identify as a different gender than their biological sex while voicing disagreement with the Pentagon’s action.

“Baptist Christians are sensitive to the difficult psychological realities that gender-confused individuals experience and extend compassion to them in Jesus’ name,” Walker, director of policy studies for the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC), told Baptist Press in written comments. It is a mistake, however, “to take the position that adopting a gender identity at odds with one’s biological sex is either a truthful expression of one’s identity or in the best interest of gender dysphoric individuals,” Walker said.

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