LGBTQ veterans discharged dishonorably for sexual orientation to get full benefits, VA says

LGBTQ veterans who were given other than honorable discharges from the military due to their sexual orientation are eligible to receive full benefits, the VA announced.

9/21/2021 1:07:00 AM

LGBTQ veterans who were given other than honorable discharges from the U.S. military due to their sexual orientation are eligible to receive full benefits, the Department of Veterans Affairs announced on Monday.

LGBTQ veterans who were given other than honorable discharges from the military due to their sexual orientation are eligible to receive full benefits, the VA announced.

who were open about their sexual orientation from serving in the military.Overall, an estimated 100,000 were discharged from the U.S. military due to their sexual orientation, including an estimated 14,000 service members who were discharged under"don't ask, don't tell," during the 17 years that it was in effect, according to the VA.

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Alex Wong/Getty Images, FILEGay rights activists and gay veterans, including former Army Lieutenant Dan Choi (4th L) and former Marine Corporal Evelyn Thomas (5th L), handcuff themselves to the fence of the White House during a protest Nov. 15, 2010 in Washington, DC.

"This historic move ends an unjust practice and creates a smoother pathway for life-saving benefits like healthcare, pensions, and housing assistance to finally go to the LGBTQ service members, as well as people with HIV, who were discharged during and before Don't Ask, Don't Tell only because of who they are," said GLAAD Chief Communications Officer Rich Ferraro in a statement."On the ten year anniversary of the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, we've seen LGBTQ service members serve strong and proud and today's move from the VA will help so many LGBTQ and other veterans who were unjustly removed from service prior to the repeal."

The VA statement was shared by Kayla Williams, the assistant secretary for public affairs in VA's office of public and intergovernmental affairs, who is bisexual, but previously chose not to disclose her sexuality under the policy of"don't ask, don't tell."

"It took many years for me to shed the toxic legacy of having served under DADT and come back out of the closet; I'm proud to recognize this anniversary as my authentic self," Williams said.In order to reenlist in the military and access medical care, compensation, a military pension as well as education, home loan and insurance benefits, a service member has to be discharged honorably.

And although"don't ask, don't tell," did not require that veterans be discharged dishonorably, some veterans were given other than honorable discharges because of their sexual orientation, gender identity, or HIV status, making them ineligible for benefits.

Mark Reinstein/Getty Images, FILEMembers of the Gay Veterans Association march past the White House and down Pennsylvania Ave onto the National Mall in Washington, D.C., April 25, 1993.According to a 2016reportby The Associated Press, less than 8% of veterans who were expelled from the military under"don't ask, don't tell" applied to upgrade their discharges to honorable or strip references to their sexual orientation from their record.

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'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Repealed: OutServe's Founder 'J.D. Smith' Finally Reveals Face and Real NameThe VA said in a statement it hopes that the policy statement would encourage more LGBTQ veterans who were discharged dishonorably to reach out to the VA to reassess their eligibility for benefits.

"Given that large numbers of LGBTQ+ Veterans who were affected by previous homophobic and transphobic policies have not applied for a discharge upgrade due to the perception that the process could be onerous, we are hopeful that this policy statement encourages more of them to contact VA to determine their eligibility for care and services," according to a VA statement.

Ron Edmonds/AP, FILEPresident Bill Clinton gestures during a news conference in the White House briefing room in Washington, D.C. Jan. 29, 1993. The president directed that an executive order reversing the ban on homosexuals in the military be prepared by July 15.

"Don't ask, don't tell," was signed into law in 1993 under the administration of PresidentBill Clinton, who initially sought to end a World War II-era ban on homosexuals serving in the military.Amid backlash from some military leaders and members of Congress, Clinton managed to get support for an apparent compromise, which would allow LGBTQ individuals to serve in the military if they did not disclose their sexual orientation.

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Thanks for treating all humans with the respect they deserve !! 🇺🇸👩‍🦳🙏♥️ It will be interesting to see how many hoops the bureaucrats create for people to jump through in order to get this done. Well damn that's love Good news But even if nations stand up and cry for democracy, in vain, but you continue to fund or rather support our oppressors, so nations are perturbed, were should we run to, in Nigeria Ethiopia WorldBank IMFNews amnesty robertamsterdam amnestyusa ,hrw.

원자력발전소도 쓰기에 따라 원폭이 되는듯 탈원전은 잘못생각하는듯 문재인생각의 재--방사능 재라생각하는듯--그래서 탈원전이라는듯 별별의 엉터리 부류들의 고위층이라는듯--썩은부류들 Good. 🌈 Q is everything. Why not. 2400 Soldiers died for Muslim Gay Rights in the Middle East.

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BASED Solid move. If anyone is willing to lay down their life in defense of their country and its people, they deserve all the benefits. Even if service was short lived due to discharge, they were still willing. They could be blue wearing a dress made out of bottlecaps for all I care. Don't ask - don't tell was such BS. They didn't ask *you* and *you* didn't tell, but that didn't stop someone else from telling. My husband has some stories about the lengths people went through to stay closeted...

It means nothing if the discharge itself isn't also upgraded Good. How about helping ordinary veterans who were given short shrift and little recognition for their service? Wow. Good for them! Good on Biden! wow yay for that! never should have been taken away Good

Thousands march for LGBTQ+ rights in Ukraine despite some oppositionThousands of people including soldiers and diplomats marched peacefully through the Ukrainian capital on Sunday in an annual gay pride parade despite some opposition to an event called off last year because of the coronavirus pandemic. Organisers said about 7,000 attended the Equality March this year, compared to 8,000 in 2019, which saw the biggest turnout since the event was initiated a decade ago despite opposition from religious and nationalist groups. Homophobia is widespread in Ukraine, according to a survey by the sociological group 'Rating' published in August, which said 47% of respondents had a negative view of the LGBTQ+ community. But God , Dont like it. NOT COVET IS SENT BY GOD ALMIGHTY.. AND GOD IS AGAINST MAN HAVING MEN BUT HOE'S AND WOMEN HAVING WOMENS VIRGINAS. ANG GROWN PEOPLE HAVING SEX WITH LITTLE BOYS AND girls. But its up to uuuuuuuuuuuu.

Mike Pence and Mothers' heads are gonna spin on this one.

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