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Local reaction to Supreme Court ban on transgender military service

Posted at 8:31 PM, Jan 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-23 00:02:46-05

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — A victory for the Trump Administration, the U.S. Supreme Court will allow a transgender military ban to go into effect later this year.

The justices decided in a 5-4 vote, and the policy could affect thousands of military members who identify as transgender.

A veteran told 13 Action News his heart was heavy when he heard the decision, but one local Republican analyst agrees with President Trump, allowing transgenders in the military will be too expensive.

Frankie Perez is a proud transgender Air Force veteran, deploying twice in ten years.

"Putting on that uniform is a whole different world. Having the people around you, you all work for that common goal it’s just a beautiful thing," said Perez.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruling allowing the Trump Administration’s plan to restrict transgender people serving in the military diminishes the pride he feels.

"Having to take it off just because of who you are is the most inhumane feeling,” said Perez.

Perez said his transition to a man came with some challenges, but none made him unfit for the job.

"This has nothing to do with body parts, it has nothing to do with labels it's about getting a job done, and that's what everyone does that puts on the uniform,” Perez said.

Perez, like many other LGBTQ activists, also believes the new ruling will spark more discrimination.

"This is going to put people right back into the closet," Perez said.

Republican analyst Jesus Marquez supports the president's plan.

"He's following the advice and instructions of senior officers in the military," Marquez said.

Marquez also said medical costs for transitioning are expensive.

According to Military Times, gender transition-related medical treatments would cost the military $2.4 million and $8.4 million annually.

"That's making a toll on the expenditures in the military," Marquez said.

While concerns continue to grow within the transgender community, John Waldron, the director of The Center said they're working on expanding their services to help the transgender community better.

"We need a safe place for the transgender community to come together and know that that they are a valid valued member of our community," Waldron said.

The Center is a community-based organization that supports and promotes activities directed at furthering the well-being, positive image, and human rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community in Southern Nevada.

The American Medical Association disagrees with the Trump Administration stating: "There’s no medically valid reason to exclude transgender individuals from military service."

The U.S. Supreme Court currently is refusing to take up cases pertaining to the ruling; cases will continue to move through the lower courts.