The State Department says it will consider providing gender dysphoria and gender transition care for diplomats and their children stationed overseas, stoking concerns in Congress that taxpayers will be responsible for funding sex change surgeries.
The State Department will "assess resources for gender dysphoria and gender transition care at posts for employees and their dependents" in an effort to "increase support for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Intersex (LGBTQI+) employees and family members," according to a recently released Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility (DEIA) Strategic Plan. It is unclear at what phase the State Department's assessment stands. The State Department would not answer Washington Free Beacon requests for further information about the type of care and potential surgeries it would be considering.
The plan is part of the Biden administration’s government-wide effort to foster inclusivity, and is already courting controversy among Republicans in Congress who say U.S. taxpayers should not be responsible for funding controversial surgeries and other types of gender dysphoria care. They say the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion movement—which is primarily fueled by liberals pushing a woke cultural agenda—is jeopardizing American credibility abroad.
"The State Department might not just be paying for their employee’s kids to receive these damaging surgeries, they’re penalizing foreign service officers who disagree and pressuring countries to perform these procedures on children," Rep. Jim Banks (R., Ind.), who helms the Republican Study Committee (RSC), Congress’s largest conservative caucus, told the Free Beacon. "Americans are pro-family, pro-country and pro-God. I hope foreigners understand that Joe Biden’s State Department doesn’t represent our values."
Rep. Dan Bishop (R., N.C.) also expressed concerns about the State Department’s mission. "The facts are simple," he said. "Biden’s policies exploit and harm children to promote his political agenda. These experimental and irreversible treatments on children shouldn’t be tolerated, let alone promoted."
Gina Abercrombie-Winstanly, the State Department’s first chief diversity and inclusion officer, says in the report that the foreign service "can be a leader in demonstrating how DEIA can be advanced across the federal government." She also said that all State Department employees "must encourage the kind of structures and processes that concretely reward the groundswell of outstanding DEIA work already underway."
Banks and the RSC are already probing the State Department over its recently disclosed effort "to normalize and encourage transgenderism among youth." A leaked memo from the department indicates that it may begin classifying countries that don’t support these types of surgeries as human rights abusers. This would include countries like the United Kingdom, Finland, and Sweden.
"The State Department’s memo defines conversion therapy as any effort to ‘suppress or change an individual’s … gender identity.’ This definition implies that counselling minors against gender transition is akin to electrically shocking minors to ‘cure’ same-sex attraction," Banks and 10 other RSC members wrote to the State Department in a Sept. 19 letter. "It also condemns all potential treatments for youth suffering from gender dysphoria aside from the two most extreme and irreversible options: transition surgery and hormone therapy."
"The State Department’s memo is a form of radical gender imperialism that threatens our relationships with other nations and harms our standing in the world," the lawmakers wrote. The effort "threatens the relationships the United States enjoys with countries in which, unlike parts of America and Western Europe, transgenderism does not enjoy government support."
The lawmakers are demanding the State Department furnish official copies of this memo and also answer a series of questions about the new policy. "Why should Americans support an initiative abroad that is so culturally divisive in America," they ask. The lawmakers also are demanding that State Department officials provide an in-person briefing on the matter.