Local groups react to Trump’s ban on transgender military service

Richmond (WRIC) — Groups in Richmond are sounding off over President Donald Trump’s decision to reinstate the ban on transgender people serving in the armed forces.

Side by Side, a Richmond-based organization, works with LGBTQ youth in Richmond, Petersburg and Charlottesville.

Executive director Tim Lewis finds the president’s announcement troubling for transgender youth who aspire to serve their country some day.

“I think it’s really disheartening to hear from a president that they can’t do that,” Lewis said.

President Trump cited “tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail.”

Chris Freund, spokesperson for Family Foundation in Richmond, said that taxpayers shouldn’t be responsible for transgender people who choose to have surgery.

“The purpose of the military is to defend our country,” he said. “The military doesn’t exist to affirm one’s needs or emotions.

No word from President Trump on how this ban affects transgender people who are already in the military.

This is a developing story. Stay with 8News online and on air for the latest updates.

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