Rep. Hunter Warns Against Opening The Military To "Transgenders" And "Hermaphrodites"

February 03, 2010 10:16 am ET — Matt Finkelstein

Rep. Duncan D. Hunter

During his State of the Union address, President Obama announced his intention to overturn the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT) policy in 2010.  "This year, I will work with Congress and our military to finally repeal the law that denies gay Americans the right to serve the country they love because of who they are," he declared.  "It's the right thing to do."

Predictably, conservatives are opposing the push to repeal the discriminatory policy.  Despite the fact that top military brass, including Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen, firmly agree with Obama, congressional Republicans are fear mongering about the effects of allowing gay men and women to serve openly.  

On NPR yesterday, Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) was asked why he believes DADT should remain in place.  Hunter, a former marine, said that it would hurt the "special bond" between soldiers "if you open up the military to transgenders, to hermaphrodites, to gays and lesbians."

HOST: You are not in favor of a repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." Why not?

HUNTER: Well, because I think that it's bad for the cohesiveness and the unity of the military units, especially that are in close combat -- that are in close quarters in country right now.  It's not the time to do it.  It's -- the military is not civilian life, and I think the folks that have been in the military that have been in these very close situations with each other -- there has to be a special bond there, and I think that that bond is broken if you open up to the military to transgenders, to hermaphrodites, to gays and lesbians.  



Of course, being a "hermaphrodite" has absolutely nothing to do sexual orientation.  As Autumn Sandeen writes, "repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell is not going to result in transsexuals -- or other transgender people -- the ability to serve openly in the U.S. military. And, perhaps this may be news to Rep. Hunter, but intersex conditions are not a sexual preference; I'm pretty damn sure too that intersex people are already allowed to serve in the military."