Donald Trump today agreed with a soldier who complained about “social engineering” allowing transgender people to serve in the military.
Five years after lifting the ban on openly gay and lesbian soldiers serving openly in the military, earlier this year the Obama administration made reforms to allow trans people to also serve.
The plan altered decades-old regulations that listed “transgenderism” as a mental illness.
However, today Donald Trump hinted he would roll back the move when asked by a soldier who claimed it had harmed military readiness..
In a Q&A with the right-wing American Warriors PAC chaired by anti-LGBT hate group leader Tony Perkins, Mr Trump was asked whether he would reinstate the ban.
He was asked: “Under this administration the warrior ethos has been under attack and undermined by the forces of political correctness – the military has become an institution for social experiments, and as a result the military has undergone a number of changes with regards to women in combat, transgender rights and other issues.
“None of these PC actions were combat-effective or readiness driven… the opposite is happening. Deployability, readiness and morale are all adversely affected. What will you do about the social engineering that’s been imposed on our military?”
Trump replied: “We’re going to get away from political correctness – we’re going to have to do that.
“You’re right, we have a politically correct military and it’s getting more and more politically correct every day. A lot of the great people in this room don’t understand how it’s possible to do that. That’s through intelligence, not through ignorance.
“Some of the things they’re asking you to do and be politically correct about are ridiculous. I will say, I would leave many of the decisions about the things you mentioned to the generals, the admirals and the people on top.
“We’d get our military people to make recommendations to me and I will follow those recommendations.”
At the same event, Mr Trump was also asked about the case of anti-gay Navy chaplain Lt. Cmdr. Wes Modder – who was reprimanded after homophobic rants in which he told troops that “the penis was meant for the vagina and not for the anus” and God had sent him to “save” homosexuals – and former Air Force Senior Master Sergeant Phillip Monk, who attracted seven homophobia complaints for his actions towards trainees but claims he’s just being targeted because of his religion.
Trump said: “It’s a great question… have we ever had a time like this?
“There has to be a melding of both, we’re living in a time where there has to be a melding of both, but it’s very unfair what they’re doing to religion in this country.”
The Republican had already previously reversed his support for domestic transgender rights, siding with North Carolina over a contentious ‘Bathroom Bill’
Mr Trump was once a moderate within the Republican Party on LGBT issues, suggesting that people shouldn’t be fired because of their sexuality.
But he has reneged since, saying he would “consider” appointing ultra-conservative Supreme Court justices to repeal equal marriage, and confirming he would sign a Republican-backed law to directly permit homophobic discrimination.
On September 23, Trump confirmed he would sign the so-called First Amendment Defence Act, which bans the government from taking any “action against a person, wholly or partially on the basis that such person believes or acts in accordance with a religious belief or moral conviction that marriage is or should be recognised as the union of one man and one woman, or that sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage.”
The broadly written law would effectively legalise all discrimination against LGBT people in all sectors – from employment to retail to healthcare – as long as the person discriminating claims it was due to their religion.
The shocking move would require the repeal of Barack Obama’s landmark LGBT discrimination protections, which Trump also confirmed he would axe.
He said in a statement: “Religious liberty is enshrined in the First Amendment to the Constitution.
“It is our first liberty and provides the most important protection in that it protects our right of conscience. Activist judges and executive orders issued by Presidents who have no regard for the Constitution have put these protections in jeopardy.
“If I am elected president and Congress passes the First Amendment Defense Act, I will sign it to protect the deeply held religious beliefs of Catholics and the beliefs of Americans of all faiths.”
Mr Perkins, who chaired today’s event, is an extreme anti-LGBT activist who made a number of extremely disturbing claims about LGBT people in the past, insisting that gays will attempt a ‘Christian Holocaust’.
Perkins also compares gays to paedophiles, insisting: “While activists like to claim that paedophilia is a completely distinct orientation from homosexuality, evidence shows a disproportionate overlap between the two. It is a homosexual problem.”
Trump has faced questions about his ties to Perkins in the past.
Earlier this year, when Trump was mocked for misquoting the Bible in a speech, he revealed it had been co-written by Mr Perkins.
He later made a $100,000 ‘donation’ to Perkins’ church – raising serious questions about financial conduct.
Watch the event below (The fun starts at 56 minutes):