Notoriously crazy and anti-LGBT Iowa Republican Rep. Steve King is in hot water again for his comments comparing transgender troops to castrated slaves from the Ottoman Empire.
“And today, we’re here thinking somehow we’re going to make the military better by letting people line up at their recruitment center who have planned that they want to do sexual reassignment surgery, know that it’s expensive, and believe ‘if I can just get into any branch of the United States services — to the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, the Marines; maybe become a Navy SEAL — and then submit to sexual reassignment surgery and then go from a man to a woman,'” King said.
King then brought up the Ottoman Empire, arguing that their castration of enslaved soldiers was akin to the proposed hormone therapy and reassignment surgeries.
“What they did in order to keep them from reproducing was that they did reassignment surgery on those slaves they had captured, that they had put into their janissary troops,”
Daniel Hoffman-Zinnel, director of One Iowa, an LGBT advocacy group, condemned King’s House floor speech, saying in a statement: “Rep. Steve King’s speech is absolutely unacceptable. Not only does he compare transgender troops to castrated slaves, but he insinuates that transgender people going into the service only do so to get free surgery.
“People join the military for a multitude of reasons, and the same goes for transgender individuals. To group all transgender people together and claim they all intend to somehow game the system is not only false, but contributes to harmful and untrue stereotypes transgender people face that contribute to harassment and violence.”
Despite his bigotry and insanity King is serving his eighth term as a congressman in the very conservative northwestern district of Iowa. He has repeatedly made brazen comments regarding immigrants, gays, minorities and Muslims. King is expected to win his ninth term in Congress in 2018 after Democratic challenger Kim Weaver dropped out of the race earlier this year and Democrats have not replaced her with another candidate.
*To put the numbers of trans-military members into perspective. As of January 31, 2017, 1.4 million Americans are serving in the U.S. armed forces. According to the Williams Institute 3.5 of America’s population identify as LGBT and out of that number only .03 people identify as transgender.