People against ban on transgender military service rally in down - KPTV - FOX 12

People against ban on transgender military service rally in downtown Portland

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

President Trump announced in a series of tweets Wednesday morning plans to ban transgender individuals from serving in the U.S. military. 

The announcement shocked the LGBTQ community around the world and is receiving backlash.

People who are against the new policy were rallying at Terry Schrunk Plaza Wednesday night.

They say if someone is a qualified as an individual to serve your country, identity shouldn't matter.

"I volunteered to serve when I was 17 years old at the height of the Vietnam War. I volunteered to join the U.S. Marine Corps," said Jenn Burleton, founder and executive director of TransActive Gender Center. "I've never reacted well to someone telling me that there were limitations to what I can achieve."

Former veterans, some transgender, and others at the rally say they can't wrap their heads around President Trump's new policy. 

When the announcement was made on Twitter, it took many by surprise.

"I was enraged," said Nathaniel Boehme.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders explained President Trump's decision during a press briefing Wednesday.

“The president’s expressed concern since this Obama policy came into effect, but he’s also voiced that this is a very expensive and disruptive policy and, based on consultation that he’s had with his national security team, came to the conclusion that it erodes military readiness and unit cohesion, and made the decision based on that.”

That reasoning did not sit well with those at the rally who have served their country. Their impassioned views united others with the same opinion: if someone is qualified and has the heart to serve the country, they should.
 
"This is going to be a turning point for a lot of people," said Burleton.

"We have an amazing community and a very strong and supportive community and we will get through this. No matter what, we will get through this," said Boehme.

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