• Governor Newsom Signs Legislation to Support Veterans Harmed by “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Policy

California Governor Gavin Newsom today announced that he has signed legislation to help LGBTQ veterans discharged under the administration’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. Clinton. The policy barred gay and lesbian men from openly serving in the military until it was repealed under the Obama administration.

The assistance the governor signed into law would include updating his records and access to education, health, burial and other benefits available to honorably discharged service members.

Although LGBTQ service members could serve openly after the repeal of this policy, veterans were less than honorably discharged under the policy and still face an onerous process that may require legal counsel and other assistance to obtain improvement in their status. low rating.

Gays and lesbians were banned from the military until the 1993 passage of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” which allowed them to serve only if they didn’t openly acknowledge their sexual orientation. Instead of helping, advocates say, the policy created more problems. In its entire history, the Army has fired more than 100,000 service members based on their sexual or gender identities, 14,000 of them during “don’t ask, don’t tell.”

AB 325 by Assemblywoman Jacqui Irwin (D-Thousand Oaks) establishes the Veterans Military Discharge Update Grant Program to help fund service providers that will educate veterans about the process of updating their discharge service and will help eligible veterans apply, the Governor’s Office said in a statement.

Newsom said in a video shared on Twitter: “Veterans deserve our respect and thanks for their service – CA and @ASM_Irwin are helping these heroes get the benefits they earned and deserve. Veterans will be able to access resources to help them improve their discharge status if they were discharged under Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

“While the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ ended a shameful injustice against LGBTQ Americans serving in our armed forces, its legacy continues to burden the women and men unjustly expelled under the discriminatory policy. Newsom said. “With this legislation, the state will help these heroes navigate the process to correct the record and access the important benefits they deserve and have earned many times over. I thank Assemblywoman Irwin for promoting this measure to do what is right for our veterans and further California’s commitment to equality.”

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