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Rubio Targets “Woke Warfighters” with Transgender Restrictions for Military

“The world is a dangerous place, and the Biden Administration’s insanity is eroding our greatest source of security in it,” Rubio said.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) has set his sights on “woke warfighters” who he says are “weakening America’s military.” Rubio introduced a new bill on Thursday that would prohibit men and women with a history or diagnosis of gender dysphoria from serving in the military, with limited exceptions.

“Biden has turned our military into a woke social experiment. It is a stupid way to go about protecting our nation. We need to spend more time thinking about how to counter threats like China, Russia, and North Korea and less time thinking about pronouns,” Rubio stated in a press release.


Rubio’s Ensuring Military Readiness Act of 2023 would require that the gender of all service members match their biological sex. In 2016, President Obama’s Department of Defense permitted unrestricted service for men and women suffering from gender confusion. Under the Trump administration, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis installed regulations similar to Rubio’s new proposal in 2019.

President Joe Biden repealed the restrictions during his first week in office. Biden would likely veto Rubio’s bill, but the legislation will likely garner Rubio additional favor with conservative voters. U.S. Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN) will be filing a companion bill in the House, the press release added.


In November 2022, Rubio and Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) published an 18-page “Woke Warfighters Report” that criticized the Biden administration’s “obsession” with race and advancement of the LGBTQ agenda.

“Our military’s singular purpose is to ‘provide for the common defense’ of our nation. It cannot be turned into a left-wing social experiment,” the report noted in its introduction. “It cannot be paralyzed by fear of offending the sensibilities of Ivy League faculty lounges or progressive pundits. The world is a dangerous place, and the Biden Administration’s insanity is eroding our greatest source of security in it.”


“Anyone who meets the military’s standards should be allowed to serve their country. Marco Rubio and Jim Banks are trying to turn back the clock on transgender military service, but pandering to Donald Trump does nothing to strengthen our military,” the Human Rights Campaign wrote on Twitter.

Several conservative organizations endorsed the legislation, including Heritage Action, Family Research Council, Concerned Women for America, CatholicVote, and the American Principles Project.

“The Biden administration has turned the Defense Department into a woke nightmare of abortion and anti-family policies that has resulted in record low enrollment,” CatholicVote’s Director of Government Affairs Tom McClusky said in the bill’s press release. “Senator Rubio's and Congressman Banks' legislation will restore the greatest military in the world to its original mission.”