Mark Latham: Australia should consider banning trans military personnel

Mark Latham from the Liberal Democrats has suggested that Australia should consider following Donald Trump’s lead and ban transgender people from serving in the military.

Latham said Australians should be worried about transgender people serving in our military.

Appearing on SKY News’ The Bolt Report, the former Labor Leader defended President Trump’s decision to ban transgender people from serving in any role in the armed forces. Latham said the number one priority of the military was to win wars.

“There has been a trend over the last ten or twenty years, right around the western world to say that people in the army just weren’t military warriors they had to be social justice warriors, they had to be doing things on the basis of diversity and inclusion – which is all code for social engineering right through the defence forces.”

“Trump has swept that all aside in saying that not every single institution in society needs to be subject to the leftist agenda of social engineering, diversity and inclusion.” Latham said.

Latham said transgender soldiers would be unable to complete some tasks, citing the example of searching women in Iraqi war zones. The former politician said only a female soldier would be able to search women in Iraq and they would consider a female transgender soldier to be a “bloke in a dress”.

Host Andrew Bolt highlighted that male soldiers in Iraq were also unable to perform that task, and argued that surely it was just a case of assigning the right personnel to the right job.

“The man dressed as a woman certainly can’t do it,” Latham responded. Bolt criticised Latham for his language describing transgender women.

The politician turned media commentator has previously been condemned for comments he made about high profile Australian soldier Cate McGregor on Twitter and in columns he wrote in newspapers.

Latham said society needed to accept that some jobs could not be done by some people in the ‘gender equation’.

“It’s a reality, whether we like it or not, some people in the gender equation, some people in society aren’t suited to particular jobs and we see this gender diversity program being pushed through the police and the fire brigade in Australia, some of the training requirements have been lowered a lives could be lost.” Latham said.

Cate McGregor, who prior to her retirement was Australia’s highest ranking transgender officer, told Buzzfeed News that the only consideration about who should serve in the military should be capability.

McGregor noted that President Trump was arguing on the same rationale, but the arguments against trans service didn’t stack up.

“The argument should come down purely to military capability. He’s invoking that as the rationale – there’s no compelling military capability argument against trans service.

“In a democratic society, there is an important principle here that any suitably qualified citizen be allowed to serve in the military.” McGregor said.

Local transgender rights advocate Kai Schweizer dismissed Latham’s comments saying transgender service people deserved everyone’s respect.

“Transgender people have served in the armed forces forever, they are just more visible now. Quite simply, anyone who wants s willing to risk their life for their country deserves respect and gratitude, regardless of their gender identity,” Schweizer told OUTinPerth.

OIP Staff

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