Gender Nation: Catholic Bishops & Trump’s DOJ are liars

Gender Nation is a bi-weekly column by Gwendolyn Ann Smith, the founder of the Transgender Day of Remembrance, reviewing news affecting the trans, intersex, and genderqueer community.

Department of Justice caught fibbing about trans troops

In yet another “last-ditch” effort to continue their ban on transgender troops, the Trump administration has been caught in a lie.

In seeking a stay of the most recent order to left transgender people serve openly beginning on the 1st of January, the United States Department of Justice claimed that some 23,000 recruiters and medical examiners would need to have extensive training, and there would simply not be time enough to complete it before the ruling would take effect.

“Without this relief, the military will be forced to implement a significant change to its standards for the composition of the armed forces before it decides how to resolve this issue,” stated the DOJ in its motion. “As military leadership has explained, this timetable will place extraordinary burdens on our armed forces and may harm military readiness.”

A policy analysis from the Palm Center disagrees, stating in its very title that “training recruiters and examiners to evaluate transgender applicants is not complicated or time-consuming,” the very opposite of the DOJ’s assertions.

What’s more, U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly has made it clear that she doesn’t see this as an undue burden. “If complying with the military’s previously established January 1, 2018 deadline to begin accession was as unmanageable as defendants now suggest,” Kollar-Kotelly said, “one would have expected defendants to act with more alacrity.” She cited that in initial injunction was issued on the 30th of October, and the appeal not filed until the 21st of November.

While the White House has declared that the Pentagon will indeed comply with the order, the Department of Justice is still seeking whatever options they may have at their disposal to retain President Trump’s ban on transgender service members.

Catholic Bishops: transgender people don’t exist

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is challenging the existence of transgender people. In an open letter named, “Created Male and Female,” the Bishops and leaders from many other American churches reaffirmed their beliefs in opposition of same-sex marriage, and have stepped firmly into the fray against gender identity and expression.

“We come together to join our voices on a more fundamental precept of our shared existence, namely, that human beings are male or female and that the socio-cultural reality of gender cannot be separated from one’s sex as male or female,” states the letter.

It goes on to force a narrative that it is children who will be most harmed by such, and that hormone treatment — not currently an option provided for trans youth, will lead to infertility. “Gender ideology harms individuals and societies,” the letter states, “by sowing confusion and self-doubt.”

While the letter does recommend “respect” and “love” for those who are transgender, it nevertheless pushed outdated and false attitudes that “the scientific fact of human biology and supporting the social institutions and norms that surround it” should be upheld, regardless the real-world needs of transgender people.

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Gwen Smith has been a transgender advocate for more than two decades. She is the writer of the Transmissions column for the Bay Area reporter, now in its 15th year. She is also the founder of the Transgender Day of Remembrance an early transgender Internet pioneer, and the managing editor for