Marco Rubio Moves to Bring Back Trump’s Trans Military Ban

Sen. Marco Rubio and Rep. Jim Banks have introduced legislation in the Senate and House of Representatives seeking to ban transgender Americans from serving in the military.

The Ensuring Military Readiness Act would ensure that “persons who identify as transgender with a
history of diagnosis of gender dysphoria are disqualified from military service,” except under a narrow set of circumstances holding that they serve under their biological sex.

“Biden has turned our military into a woke social experiment,” Rubio said in a statement. “It is a stupid way to go about protecting our nation. We need to spend more time thinking about how to counter threats like China, Russia, and North Korea and less time thinking about pronouns.”

Days after he took office, President Biden signed an executive order reversing a Trump-era policy preventing trans Americans from serving openly in the military.

There are an estimated 150,000 transgender U.S. military veterans. Evan Young, president of the Transgender American Veterans Association, spoke to Rolling Stone after Trump’s ban went into effect in 2019. “We serve with honor and we’re patriotic,” they said. “We give our lives for this country, yet they’re saying we can’t serve and it’s beyond my comprehension why, besides discrimination.”

Rubio’s office describes the Ensuring Military Readiness Act as “building” on Trump’s ban, in part by adding “more stringent requirements and revamps the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) to ensure all service members’ gender markers match their biological sex.”

The bill disqualifies all Americans who identify as transgender or have a history of gender dysphoria from serving unless they are “stable” in their biological sex. The Department of Defense would have 90 days to issue the bill’s regulations should it go into effect.

“Our bill ensures that DoD puts lethality and readiness before far-left ideology,” Banks wrote in a statement announcing the bill’s introduction.

The Rand Corporation, a nonprofit think tank, found in 2016 that the cost of transition-related health care in the military is relatively insignificant, and allowing trans people to serve caused no significant impact on force readiness.

“The limited research on the effects of foreign military policies indicates little or no impact on unit cohesion, operational effectiveness, or readiness,” the study found. “Commanders noted that the policies had benefits for all service members by creating a more inclusive and diverse force. Policy changes to open more roles to women and to allow gay and lesbian personnel to serve openly in the U.S. military have similarly had no significant effect on unit cohesion, operational effectiveness, or readiness.”