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LGBTQ Nation: Admiral goes viral explaining how the GOP’s attacks on the troops hurt military readiness


A senior military official has gone viral for explaining how Republicans are harming the military by using an annual defense spending bill to discriminate against diverse service members, including those who are transgender.

U.S. Admiral John Kirby, who serves as the White House Coordinator for Strategic Communications at the National Security Council, was asked on Monday why the Department of Defense (DOD) provides time off and funding for service members to seek abortions in other states.

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The measure would prohibit healthcare for trans military personnel and ban pride flags on military property.

Republicans are trying to get rid of this policy while negotiating the 2024 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), an $886 billion bill that funds the military into the next year. Republican amendments to the NDAA also seek to remove any gender-affirming care coverage for trans troops, ban any book that has “pornographic materials” or “espouses radical gender ideology,” and end initiatives to promote racial diversity in the military.

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When asked, “Why is the new DoD policy on abortion critical to military readiness?” Kirby responded, “I’m really glad you asked that question. No, I mean, I really am.”

“One in five members of the U.S. Military are women. 20%. We’re an all-volunteer force. Nobody’s forcing you to sign up and go. People volunteer to go. You raise your right hand you say, I’m gonna, I’m going to do this for a few years or even for my life, and it might cost me my life to do it,” Kirby said.

“And when you sign up and you make that contract, you have every right to expect that the organization, in this case the military, is going to take care of you, and they’re going to take care of your families,” he continued. “And they’re going to make sure that you can serve with dignity and respect, no matter who you are, or who you love. Or, or how you worship or don’t.”

“And our policies, whether they’re diversity, inclusion, and equity, or whether they’re about transgender individuals who qualify physically and mentally, deserve to be able to do it with dignity, or whether it’s about female service members – one in five – or female family members being able to count on the kinds of health care and reproductive care specifically that they need to serve,” he added.

Question: Why is the DOD policy on abortion critical to military readiness?

Kirby: I’m really glad you asked that question…

— Acyn (@Acyn) July 17, 2023

Video of Kirby’s response has gone viral on Twitter, with one video of his response gaining over 1 million views in less than 12 hours. He has previously spoken in support of trans people serving in the military and also against Uganda’s “Kill the Gays” bill.

“That is a foundational, sacred obligation of military leaders across the river. I’ve seen it myself, and it matters, because it says we’re invested in you because you are being willing to invest in us. You’re investing your life, your family’s livelihood with us. We owe you that back in return,” he added, noting that restrictive laws being passed in the country are already negatively affecting soldier retention and morale.

Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) has been blocking the Senate approval of over 250 military promotions, essentially leaving the Marine Corps without a confirmed leader for the first time in 164 years, in protest of the military’s abortion policy. While he says his blockade isn’t harming military readiness, the military depends on a functioning chain of command and promotions in order to properly deploy soldiers. Withholding promotions harms the ability of soldiers to communicate and to know how and where they’ll be serving.

As of late June, 19 states have passed laws restricting gender-affirming care, though most of these bans have been blocked in courts. Nevertheless, these efforts are being coordinated by some of the same groups and politicians who are also trying to get rid of pro-abortion policies and other LGBTQ+ civil rights, WBUR reported. Both involve Republicans fighting to control the most private parts of people’s personal lives and healthcare.

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