Report: Pence Drafted Trump’s New Transgender Service Ban

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

The Trump regime unveiled a new (old) policy to ban transgender military service after 10 pm eastern time on Friday night and, according to multiple sources, Vice President Mike Pence drafted the policy.

Pence reportedly collaborated with a group of fellow religious fundamentalists to draft the policy and he overruled objections from Secretary of Defense James Mattis.

From ThinkProgress:

Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern reported Friday night that, according to multiple sources, Pence played “a leading role” in creating the report, along with Ryan T. Anderson of the Heritage Foundation, which has been dubbed “Trump’s favorite think tank,” and Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council (FRC), an anti-LGBTQ hate group. Both Heritage and FRC praised the report Friday. According to Stern’s reporting, it was true that Mattis favored allowing transgender military service, but Pence “effectively overruled” him.

A separate source independently confirmed to ThinkProgress Saturday that Pence was involved, characterizing him as forming his own ad hoc “working group,” including Anderson and Perkins, separate from the panel of experts Mattis had assembled. Though it bears Mattis’ signature, the report released Friday appears to reflect the findings of Pence’s working group and not the committee report that Mattis submitted to Trump last month. Mattis’ original document is not currently publicly available, but it was widely reported that Mattis favored an inclusive approach that resembled what had originally been proposed by Defense Secretary Ash Carter under President Obama in 2016.

As you know, Trump's original policy for banning transgender military service has been blocked in court, so why would they issue a new policy that effectively says the same thing?

Call it a legal gimmick. The Trump regime is hoping that by slightly altering the language of their ban, the courts will be bamboozled, or something, and agree to start the process all over again considering the language of the new policy.

If it's true that the Pentagon has recommended that transgender recruits be allowed to serve openly only to be overruled by Mike Pence and his secret society of Freudian transphobes, that seems like something that would be open to discovery in court.

In other words, I think Mike Pence may have made it even more difficult to defend the policy.

From state bathroom bills to Trump's ban, there hasn't been a federal court that looked at these policies and found them constitutional. At least not yet.

  • waspuppet

    “As you know, Trump’s original policy for banning transgender military service has been blocked in court, so why would they issue a new policy that effectively says the same thing?

    Call it a legal gimmick.”

    It’s also a personality disorder. Like a domestic abuser, Trump and the Republicans are relentless. They’ll ask for/try to do/try to sneak the same thing over and over and over. They try to wear you down, and they never recognize that wearing someone down is a crappy way to get what you want and shows a complete lack of respect for the person you’re dealing with. If you’ve lived with an abuser you recognize this pattern.

  • muselet

    This sort of thing is why I worry as much about the prospect of a President Michael Richard Pence as I do about the reality of President Donald John Trump.


    • David Greenberg

      The definition of being between a rock and a hard place. This last year and a quarter has not been much fun.

  • Aynwrong

    To paraphrase The Who:

    Meet the new bigot. Same as the old bigot.

  • ninjaf

    I think it was red meat for the Evangelical base before the Stormy Daniels interview.

    Glad to see our Secretary of Defense has such a spine of steel as to sign this damn thing, even though it was not what he wanted recommended.

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    • waspuppet

      It was also red meat for the base because he got rolled on the spending bill.

      And also just red meat for himself, for the same reason.

  • As soon as I heard this i knew that Trump had talked to Pence. Probably bumped into him in the hallway and a five minute conversation resulted in the “new” ban.