Out Reps. Robert Garcia (D-CA), Mark Pocan (D-WI), and Chris Pappas (D-NH) have asked Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin to expedite the process for former LGBTQ soldiers still seeking to upgrade their less-than-honorable discharges after being kicked out of the military under “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell”.
In their letter, the representatives noted that over 114,000 military members were discharged for being LGBTQ. Their less-than-honorable discharges endangered their future “job prospects, home ownership, educational opportunities, and health and disability veterans’ benefits,” the letter stated.
“The United States government has a moral obligation to right the wrongs it committed when it dishonorably discharged veterans from the armed services on the grounds of their sexual orientation,” Rep. Pocan wrote in a statement about the recent letter.
“While it’s been thirteen years since the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ the trauma of these policies is not over, and for far too many LGBTQ service members and veterans, their injustice has not been corrected,” Rep. Pappas added.
Amid mounting opposition to “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” President Barack Obama announced its repeal in mid-2011, ending 17 years of secrecy and silence for LGBTQ members of the U.S. military.
Three years after the Obama Administration told transgender individuals they could serve openly and have access to gender-affirming medical and psychological care, Trump reversed course and reinstated a ban on transgender individuals from serving in any capacity in the U.S. military.
In 2019, President Joe Biden repealed Trump’s guidance that banned transgender people from enlisting and serving in the military. It depends on your vote to continue like this.
Do you remember this kiss?