Senator Jim Inhofe, a senior Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, doesn’t intend to immediately block the Pentagon’s plan to integrate transgender servicemembers into the military, but he does have one question.
“I had a 10-year-old — not my son, but a friend of mine’s grandson — say, ‘All right, which bathroom would they use?’” Inhofe told Politico.
According to Inhofe, his bathroom quandary is just one example of why this integration plan simply won’t work; but in the meantime, stopping the Pentagon’s plans does not rank highly on the agenda, as he is currently working on a highway bill.
Only a week ago, Defense Secretary Ash Carter put into effect a six-month review of the ban on transgender servicemembers. (RELATED: Pentagon Intends To Remove Prohibition On Transgendered In The Military) During the review period, it’s unlikely that any transgendered personnel will be removed from the military.
Unless “objective, practical impediments” exist to exclude transgenders from certain jobs, all will open at the end of the six-month period. Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Brad Carson has formed a working group to deal with any administrative and legal issues which may come up as a result of the Pentagon’s integration efforts.
At the time of the announcement, the Pentagon did not respond to a request for comment from The Daily Caller News Foundation as to what sort of arrangements will exist for bathrooms.
Few, if any members, Republican or Democrat, have raised serious objections. Even Sen. John McCain, who opposed the effort to repeal the ban on gays serving explicitly in the military in 2010, stated that he didn’t have any big objections to the administration’s new plan. Other Republicans, like GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush, openly supported the move, saying he was “fine” with it, so long as the Pentagon determines that bringing in transgenders won’t damage service morale.
The Supreme Court case last month allowing same-sex marriages in all states appears to have been a watershed moment, prompting increased support for other causes like transgender rights and evaporating opposition.
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