Restoring Honor To All LGBT Veterans

Posted November 11, 2015 6:40 AM by with 0 comments

_unnamed-211Mark Bingham from Flight 93 on September 11th, Harvey Milk, Edith Windsor. The LGBT community has many heroes we celebrate. But arguably, the most-maligned and unsung heroes are the ones who wore our nation’s uniform before or during the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” days.

In addition to the physical risk all soldier’s face, the brave LGBT men and women put their call to serve ahead of the considerable personal and professional risks they subjected themselves to in the process. Since WW II, as many as100,000 service members were discharged from the military because of their sexual orientation, many with less-than-honorable discharges that have barred them from the benefits that they earned. Sen. Kirsten E. Gillibrand Tuesday renewed her push for legislation that aims to clear the military record of upwards of 100,000 U.S. veterans who were dismissed from the services just because they are gay.

“The Restore Honor to Service Members Act will help streamline the process for veterans to clear their records of discriminatory discharges,” said Gillibrand, D-N.Y. “Veterans who honorably serve our nation should not be fighting for their honor and their benefits. Our veterans deserve to receive the recognition and benefits they earned for the sacrifice they made for our country.”
Gillibrand’s legislation would clear the way for gay veterans to receive educational benefits under the GI Bill as well as health care from the Veterans Administration.

The bill would also help veterans who received an honorable discharge but who were still dismissed because they were gay. Since their discharges indicates their sexual orientation, even those veterans may face discrimination, Gillibrand said.

Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., is among 38 Senate cosponsors of the bill. A companion House bill has more than 100 cosponsors, including Rep. Brian Higgins, D-N.Y., and four Republicans.

(h/t The Buffalo News)

With appreciation and gratitude for all who served, Happy Veteran’s Day 2015.

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