BUFFALO, N.Y. —Buffalo’s We Exist Coalition organized a rally to protest the transgender military ban in Lafayette Square.
Crowds gathered around the Soldiers and Sailors Monument Saturday to hear how the ban will impact transgender troops.
"We have thousands of transgender servicemen who are currently bleeding and dying for our freedom,” said Veteran, Angela Burnham.
A memo released by the White House on Friday, March 23 states, “transgender persons with a history or diagnosis of gender dysphoria – individuals who the policies state may require substantial medical treatment, including medications and surgery – are disqualified from military service except under certain limited circumstances”.
Transgender Veterans Angela Burham and Diana Patton said the policy is a slap to the face for those who have volunteered to serve and defend our country.
Members of Western New York’s We Exist Coalition collectively have more than 20 years of military service. They say the ban will compromise military readiness.
"Right now we have trans people serving in areas of conflict,” said Diana Patton. “Are we supposed to call time out and let these people go home while we fill the positions that they're leaving?"
According to Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul more than 6,000 transgender troops are currently serving in the military. Hochul said the financial costs and extra time needed to train new troops will overwhelm the military.
“These people are embedded with our troops today,” said Hochul. “Pulling one of their comrades whose been training with them, who is out there in harms way, pulled from their colleagues that they have gotten to know and support and protect, that is wrong too. That's gonna hurt the morale of our armed services.”