Published On: Fri, Jul 7th, 2017

Liberty Counsel defends Army Personnel against ‘transgender directives’ ‘training and guidance’

Liberty Counsel has issued a letter to Fort Benning Army Base commanding officers requesting them to comply with the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) and the Department of Defense (DOD) Instruction which provides Army personnel religious accommodation and exemption from so-called “transgender” directives which violate their sincerely held religious beliefs and conscience.
The letter states that RFRA and DOD Instruction requires the Army to provide religious accommodation and exemption from compliance with “transgender directives” which violate rights of conscience or religious beliefs, when such exemption has no effect on the accomplishment of the Army’s actual mission.
Liberty Counsel was contacted by Army personnel and civilian employees within the Fort Benning, Georgia chain-of-command who seek religious accommodation exemptions from the mandate of the DOD “Directive-type Memorandum” 16-005, known as “Military Service of Transgender Service members,” requiring that personnel complete “transgender training” and “guidance.”

photo John Hain

The “transgender training” requires personnel to accept false statements about the nature of sex, gender, biology and morality. This directive includes requiring officers to approve medically-unnecessary surgeries and harmful, unproven hormone replacement, all at taxpayer expense; addressing gender-confused officers and soldiers “identifying” as the opposite sex by false gender pronouns and false gender titles; and requiring female soldiers (and vice versa) to sleep, shower and perform private bodily functions in the presence of the opposite biological sex. Female soldiers supervising drug testing would also be required to observe the male genitals (and vice versa) of “transgender” males who claim to be “female,” because of the male’s false “gender marker,” and personnel would have to comply with fictions like “pregnant male soldiers.”
“We are asking the Fort Benning commanding officers to comply with the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the Department of Defense Instruction to accommodate the sincerely held religious beliefs of their soldiers and civilians by allowing them exemption from the ‘transgender training,'” said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel. “The military must respect the religious free exercise rights of service members and this ‘transgender’ directive may not even qualify as a ‘lawful order’ under DOD regulations. The duty of military officers is to appropriately lead and prepare their personnel to serve and protect. This ‘transgender’ directive undermines unit cohesion and preparedness. We also call upon Secretary of Defense Mattis to put an end to this Obama-inspired social engineering,” said Staver.
About Liberty Counsel
Liberty Counsel is an international nonprofit, litigation, education, and policy organization dedicated to advancing religious freedom, the sanctity of life, and the family since 1989, by providing pro bono assistance and representation on these and related topics.
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