.- After President Donald Trump announced on Wednesday that persons identifying as transgender could not serve in the U.S. military, theologians and bioethics experts voiced support for the policy change.
Those who identify as transgender are “people made in God’s image, and they deserve our compassion, and they deserve to be treated with dignity, but that doesn’t mean that they are fit for combat in the defense of a nation,” said Dr. Chad Pecknold, a theology professor at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.
Pecknold told CNA that the policy change was the “right decision” that replaced the previous “very bad policy.”
On Wednesday, President Trump announced that he would revoke a rule from late in President Obama’s second term allowing persons identifying as transgender to serve in the U.S. military. Those wishing to join the military who openly identified as transgender could be accepted provided they were proven “stable” in their gender identity for at least 18 months.
With the new administration, however, new Defense Secretary James Mattis delayed the implementation of that policy until Jan. 1, 2018.
Then on Wednesday, President Trump announced that the policy would be undone. In a series of tweets, he stated that the new government policy would be to disallow “transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military,” saying that the military “cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail.”
“It is unfortunate that the president did not have the political sense to let this decision be made at the appropriate level, and in the appropriate way, but it is nevertheless the right decision,” Pecknold said.
The estimates of the number of openly transgender persons currently in the U.S. military are unclear. RAND Corporation, in a 2016 assessment of the implications of allowing…