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Right-Wing Senator Wonders Which Bathroom Trans Troops Will Use

Right-Wing Senator Wonders Which Bathroom Trans Troops Will Use


Conservative Republican Senator Jim Inhofe expressed confusion about which bathroom transgender troops would use once the ban is lifted against transgender Americans serving openly in the military.

Oklahoma Sen. James Inhofe, who has already voiced opposition toward gay, lesbian and bisexual military service, believes the recently announced plans to lift the longstanding ban on transgender Americans serving openly in the U.S. armed forces simply "wouldn't work."

Earlier this month, Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter announced a working group that will determine how to allow transgender troops to serve openly within the next six months.

At Carter's direction, that working group "will start with the presumption that transgender persons can serve openly without adverse impact on military effectiveness and readiness, unless and except where objective, practical impediments are identified," the Defense Secretary said in a statement at the time.

But in a statement to Politico, Inhofe, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, zeroed in on what he appears to believe constitute "practical impediments:"

"I had a 10-year-old -- not my son, but a friend of mine's grandson -- say, 'All right, which bathroom would they use?'"

The Republican senator previously opposed U.S. military personnel wearing their uniforms in San Diego's LGBT pride parade, and was a sponsor of the Marriage and Religious Freedom Act, which opponents labeled a "license to discriminate" bill.

But advocates for open trans service have already taken steps to combat the kind of misinformed fear-mongering Inhofe attempted to launch with his tone-deaf comments.

"There is much more to do, but the Secretary's clear intent to treat transgender soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines with the same dignity and on equal footing with other service members aligns with the core values of our Armed Forces," said Allyson Robinson, Army veteran and director of policy at SPARTA, an advocacy and support organization for LGBT service members, veterans, and their families in a statement when the Pentagon announced the pending changes. "We stand ready to provide resources to the Working Group for the regulations changes required to take care of all the troops."

"Six months is more than enough time to hammer out the details. This isn't new ground," continued Robinson. "A number of our military allies deploy transgender troops alongside American forces down-range, as do DOD contractors. Police and fire departments have managed transgender inclusion. I'm confident that our military leaders can handle this as smoothly as the repeal of 'don't ask, don't tell.'"

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Nicholas Cimarusti