If the Army stays true to form, Bradley Manning - the Army private convicted last month of espionage - won't get his wish to become “Chelsea” Manning at Fort Leavenworth.
Manning leaked over 700,000 documents to WikiLeaks, was convicted and then sentenced last week to 35 years in prison, although he will be eligible for parole in seven years. The day after being sentenced, Manning – who is homosexual – said he plans to do everything in his power to live the rest of his life as a woman, including hormone therapy.
Manning’s alleged struggle with “gender-identity disorder” – his assertion that he was a woman trapped in a man’s body – was a key part of the defense. Evidence of that included a photo of him in a blond wig and lipstick.
Matt Barber, vice president of Liberty Counsel Action, believes Manning has helped the lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgender movement take a step backward.
“I think that this is really tremendously hurting the LGBT movement in terms of the fact that anybody objectively looking at this from the outside and seeing this man in a wig and lipstick on television and in the photographs that have been circulated realize how just utterly insane the whole LGBT movement is,” he tells OneNewsNow.
Manning is demanding that taxpayers fund "cosmetic mutilation surgery" that would outwardly make him look female, but Barber contends what he needs is counseling.
“He needs some help to reconcile his sexuality with his inborn sexuality that everybody has, and our biological reality is heterosexual,” he says. “[And he needs help] to reconcile his gender reality – he's a man – with his gender identity ... and to bring the two in line with the way God created him."
Barber points out that Fort Leavenworth – where Manning will be serving out his sentence – provides psychiatric counseling, but not hormone therapy or sex-reassignment surgery.
Manning’s attorney, David Coombes, said last week that if Leavenworth refuses to provide hormone therapy for his client, “then I’m going to do everything in my power to make sure they are forced to do so.”