Photo via Forsvarsdepartementet/Flickr (CC-BY)

The comparison doesn’t quite add up.

When a conservative Christian organization asked Americans whether they want their tax money going to billions of dollars in fighter jets or “transgender surgeries,” LGBTQ Americans had the last laugh.

On Thursday morning, the Family Research Council’s legislative affiliate FRC Action announced an ad running in New York’s 23rd Congressional District, asking New Yorkers, “Which one do you want our military to be spending your tax dollars on–transgender surgeries or equipment?” A tweet for the ad compares an F-35 fighter jet to Chelsea Manning, asking readers to call Republican Congressman Tom Reed and tell him their views on the issue.

The ad was quickly criticized by LGBTQ activists and allies on Twitter, questioning the comparison and the ad’s larger message. Some posters argued that healthcare coverage is a necessary right for service members, and that transgender medical care should most certainly be covered as a basic need.

A 2015 research study revealed that healthcare costs for transgender troops would actually be relatively low, costing approximately $5.6 million a year to provide trans-related care to service members. In comparison, Lockheed Martin previously agreed to sell 90 brand new F-35 fighter jets to the United States for $8.5 billion, making each F-35 cost over $94 million to purchase.

With that math, many criticized the aircrafts, calling them a “huge waste of money” and “a multi-trillion dollar embarrassment.”

But most of all, many expressed support for Chelsea Manning, declaring her a hero. They felt the military should be focused on recruiting more people like Manning, criticizing FRC Action for attacking Manning.

FRC Action serves as a lobbying PAC for the Family Research Council, a conservative Christian anti-LGBTQ organization. The Family Research Council has been labeled a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, which argues that the FRC “makes false claims about the LGBT community based on discredited research and junk science.”


Ana Valens

Ana Valens

Ana Valens is an LGBTQ reporter and essayist for the Daily Dot. Her work has previously appeared in Bitch, the Establishment, Vice's Waypoint, Rolling Stone's Glixel, and the Toast. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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