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Rally against Trump's ban on transgender individuals from military held downtown

A small group gathers in Terry Schrunk Plaza in downtown Portland on Wednesday night to protest President Donald Trump's plan to ban transgender individuals from serving in the military. (KATU Photo)

People who support equal treatment of transgender Americans rallied across from the federal building in downtown Portland on Wednesday night to protest President Donald Trump's decision to ban transgender individuals from military service.

The rally was organized by Don J. Baldwin, an emergency medical technician and student at Portland Community College Cascade campus.

“The President is on record promising to fight for the LGBTQ community but has clearly betrayed us. This rally is to motivate and educate our people on how to fight back and to know where their resources are," Baldwin said. “We want the Trans community to know we love and support them and we’re not going to take this lying down."

Trump tweeted Wednesday morning that transgender individuals would not be allowed to serve in the U.S. military "in any capacity."

In a series of tweets, the president cited "tremendous medical costs" and the "disruption that transgender in the military would entail" as his reasons for his position.

"After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military. Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail. Thank you," Trump said.

His tweets angered and confused Wednesday night's protesters, including Nathaniel Boehme, an Iraq War veteran, third generation airman, and the LGBTQ coordinator at the Oregon Department of Veteran Affairs.

"Honestly, it comes out of left field, things like this, because everybody that I know and everybody that I've served with typically does not hold this kind of malice towards other individuals, other human beings who want to serve their country," he said.

Several Republican lawmakers spoke out against Trump's tweets. Sen. John McCain said anyone who's fit to serve should be allowed to serve.

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