Chaplains Express Concerns For Religious Liberty Over New Department Of Defense Gender Identity Policy
WASHINGTON – Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty expressed strong concern this week about potential religious liberty issues relative to the Department of Defense’snewly announced policy to allow persons who openly identify as transgendered to serve in the military. In a recent conference call with chaplain endorsers, a senior Pentagon official outlined implications of the policy change.
The official said that such persons will be required to receive a medical statement from a military medical professional that they suffer from gender dysphoria. Once that is noted in their military medical files, then all medical resources will be made available to them to accomplish any surgical alterations.
“An endorser on the call asked whether medical professionals who hold a biblical view on human sexuality will be required to violate their consciences and do as these persons demand, and the response was that it is the responsibility of medical professionals to serve military persons. It’s an understatement to say that this raises serious religious liberty concerns,” said Chaplain (COL) Ron Crews, USA Retired, executive director of Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty. “The Department of Defense must ensure a service member is not forced to violate his or her conscience and that doctors and nurses who hold to a biblical view of human sexuality can serve in today’s military. Congress has spoken on this issue in the FY2013 National Defense Authorization Act.”
The official on the conference call went on to say that “mixed genitalia” will be present in military bathrooms, showers, and barracks because service members will be in various stages of change in their sexual identity.
“Americans need to know the extreme implications of this policy,” Crews said. “Do we want our sons and daughters to be forced to share showers and sleeping spaces in a ‘mixed genitalia’ environment with no recourse for objections of conscience?”
The Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty is an organization of chaplain endorsers, the faith groups that provide chaplains for the U.S. military and other agencies needing chaplains. The endorsers in the Chaplain Alliance speak for more than 2,600 chaplains serving the armed forces.