Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy told ABC News’ “This Week” Sunday that if elected he will not renew former President Donald Trump’s ban on transgender service members.
He clarified, however, that he stands in firm opposition to “foisting this ideology on to children.”
Ramaswamy, when asked if he would prohibit transgender persons from serving in the military, responded that he “would not.” He said that his policies as a candidate are “very focused” on removing the influence of radical gender ideology from kids.
Trump’s so-called “transgender ban” did not outright prohibit transgender persons from serving in the armed forces. They were, however, required to perform in their biological gender and could not suffer from gender dysphoria.
This is the condition where a person has stress from the supposed misalignment of their biological gender with their “gender identity.”
In one of Biden’s first acts after taking office, he overturned the Trump policy with an executive order. Now the military operates under the same guidelines as existed under former President Obama.
Trangender individuals are allowed to serve in the gender they “identify” with, and new recruits must have been “stable” for 18 months.
When criticism rained down after the interview over his stance, Ramaswamy clarified his comments. The candidate tweeted, “I’ve also been clear about my position on the trans cult in America: transgenderism is most often a mental health disorder & should be treated as such.
He added that while allowing those with mental health problems to serve in combat roles is too risky, that is not the case for many other positions.
Ramaswamy cited administrative, support, and legal roles as suitable and said he doesn’t believe a sweeping ban “makes sense.”
In a previous interview with the Daily Caller, the Republican candidate said he opposes children undergoing irreversible and radical medical procedures.
As he explained, “It’s wrong to treat anorexia with a liposuction, just as it’s inhumane to treat a kid who suffers from gender dysphoria with genital mutilation. These are mental health illnesses and should be treated as such.”
Even so, the military stance aligns him more with Biden than with his rivals for the Republican nomination. This may be an impediment as he seeks to shed the status of a fringe candidate and become a legitimate challenger for the White House.