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Contact: Deborah Hamilton, Hamilton Strategies, 215.815.7716, 610.584.1096,
May 19, 2014
Pentagon Considering Whether to Move Transgendered Soldier to Civilian Prison

May is National Military Appreciation Month, but some military may not feel very appreciated when they learn that the Pentagon is considering transferring Private Bradley Manning to a civilian prison where he can be treated for gender dysphoria.

Manning, who joined the Army as a man, is serving 35 years in prison for leaking sensitive military information to WikiLeaks. A Kansas judge ruled that Manning could change his first name to Chelsea.

The decision “could set a precedent for the Pentagon, which has come under increasing pressure to reexamine its prohibition on allowing transgender people to serve in uniform,” according to the Washington Post

American Family Association (AFA, says the Manning case is a distraction to members of the military serving to protect freedoms—as well as to their families.

“For the United States military to allow itself to become ensnared in a case of gender identity is a dangerous diversion from its true mission,” said AFA President Tim Wildmon. “The military has a mission of protecting the freedom and security of our nation, and that mission does not include funding sex-change efforts within its ranks. Americans should be concerned over what this soldier is asking from the military and from U.S. taxpayers.

Although the Pentagon typically discharges transgender service members who pursue transitioning to the opposite sex, Manning cannot be discharged while serving his sentence. Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said in a statement last week that the Pentagon “approved a request by Army leadership to evaluate potential treatment options for inmates diagnosed with gender dysphoria.” Kirby added that no decision has been made about Manning but that the soldier would remain behind bars regardless.

Manning is being held at the Army prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., and asked medical personnel there for “a treatment plan consistent with the recognized professional standards of care for trans health.” Manning filed a complaint in March protesting the military’s delay in responding to his request.

“At issue is not whether Manning believes he is a woman,” Wildmon added. “At issue is whether the United States military and American taxpayers should be required to endorse that belief.”

Last month, the Army changed Manning’s official paperwork to read “Chelsea Elizabeth” as the first and middle name, but Army officials said that they continue to consider Manning a man.

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To interview a representative from American Family Association, contact Deborah Hamilton at, 215-815-7716 or 610-584-1096.

American Family Association (AFA) a non-profit 501(c3) organization was founded in 1977 by Donald E. Wildmon, who was pastoring First United Methodist Church in Southaven, Mississippi, at the time. Since 1977, AFA has been on the frontlines of America’s culture war. The original name of the ministry was National Federation for Decency but was changed to American Family Association in 1988. Today, AFA is one of the largest and most effective pro-family organizations in the country with more than one million online supporters and approximately 180,000 paid subscribers to the AFA Journal, the ministry’s monthly magazine. In addition, AFA owns and operates nearly 200 radio stations across the country under the American Family Radio banner.

Other divisions of AFA include American Family Radio, the AFA Foundation and, an online news provider that is syndicated around the world. AFA maintains activist web sites such as that rally Christian activists to contact companies asking them to drop their advertising from objectionable TV shows. AFA websites average over 6 million unique visitors and 44 million hits per year. AFA uses all these means to communicate an outspoken, resolute, Christian voice throughout America.

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