If it were up to Brit Hume, he'd revive the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy and apply it to transgender people.
Hume, a Fox News analyst known for his conservative bent on public affairs, proposed a solution to the ongoing debate about North Carolina's law that mandates that transgender people use the bathroom that matches the gender on their birth certificate:
Hume made the incredibly insensitive comment during a panel discussion on the Fox News Sunday program.
He was referencing a policy that made being openly lesbian, gay or bisexual — and sometimes even the accusation of engaging in homosexual activity — grounds for discharge from the military. President Barack Obama and Congress asked the Department of Defense to end the policy in 2010.
Although DADT ended in 2011, many transgender people have been judged by the military as psychiatrically and medically unfit to serve. An Army manual revised in 2011 after the DADT repeal spells it out:
A history of, or current manifestations of, personality disorders, disorders of impulse control not elsewhere classified, transvestism, voyeurism, other paraphilias, or factitious disorders, psychosexual conditions, transsexual, gender identity disorder to include major abnormalities or defects of the genitalia such as change of sex or a current attempt to change sex, hermaphroditism, pseudohermaphroditism, or pure gonadal dysgenesis or dysfunctional residuals from surgical correction of these conditions render an individual administratively unfit.
Hume's apparent attempt at levity landed flat — as evidenced by the awkward silence and nervous laughter from the panel.
But it reeks of transphobia, at a time when the LGBT community is seeking reasoned debate about freedom to live authentically and move around in public space without oppressive government restrictions.