It's no secret that liberal comedy Chelsea Handler and conservative pundit Tomi Lahren don't see eye to eye on everything. But their views -- and their differences -- about transgender rights were laid bare for all to see on Saturday, July 29 when Handler interviewed Lahren at the annual Politicon conference in California.
Let's be honest: We saw this coming. In fact, Twitter was well prepared for the event, and we already knew where both women stood when it came to trans rights. As you'd expect, Lahren and Handler's reactions to the trans military ban were basically opposite.
Though President Donald Trump's tweet about banning transgender people from serving in the military does not constitute policy (at least, not yet), the topic was still ripe for debate at the conference. For those looking for a verbal brawling, Lahren and Handler certainly didn't disappoint. You can see the video of their full exchange here:
Credit: Getty on behalf of Politicon
Handler broached the subject with her signature comedic style:
So, where are you with the trans thing? You're not into trans?
Lahren wasted no time reiterating her previous support for Trump's "decision" to reinstate the ban, which was met with boos from the crowd.
To be clear: Both women agreed that serving the military, and a willingness to do so, was worthy of praise.
But the differences quickly became apparent when Lahren posited her argument that trans service members undergoing treatment would be unable to deploy. She cited Chelsea Manning as a "prime example" of taxpayers funding such treatment.
Handler argued back,
There are plenty of people you could apply that to with injuries. ... And not all [trans people] are having surgical procedures. ... And when they're having surgical procedures, they're not scheduling them around when they're deployed.
Lahren's primary argument stemmed from a belief that trans service members undergoing treatment would be unable to deploy and that taxpayers should not be funding hormone therapy.
Handler ripped into Lahren's logic, saying,
In that military budget, it might be 2.4 to 8.4 million dollars that they would spend on hormone therapy, when they're spending $45 million on Viagra and Cialis.
Handler's point, that the military would spend far more on these medications than on transgender medical care, was also documented by The Washington Post.
Lahren agreed with Handler's point on wasting money for those medication. But, she countered,
Until we can afford treatment and prosthetics for the military and the veterans that have fought for this country, I don't believe in paying for a sex change or hormone treatment therapy.
The crux of the argument came when Lahren stated, as she had in a video she posted last week, that she doesn't believe that the military is the place for "social experiments."
Again, right on cue, Handler shot back:
I don't think this is a social experiment. The trans community, they're not going away; it's only going to get bigger.
Their disagreement on transgender rights was only one of several that they had during the fiery exchange at the conference.