Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2020-09-16
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

LGBTQ veterans denied honorable discharges regain NY state benefits
2019-11-12

facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


WASHINGTON — Today, the Modern Military Association of America ( MMAA ), the nation's largest non-profit organization for the LGBTQ military and veteran community, released the following statement praising New York Governor Andrew Cuomo for signing into law the Restoration of Honor Act. The legislation gives LGBTQ veterans who were denied an honorable discharge because of their sexual orientation or gender identity the right to apply to have their New York State veterans' benefits restored. On Friday, Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo signed similar legislation into law.

"New York just sent a powerful message of support for LGBTQ veterans who were kicked out of the military under deeply discriminatory policies," said MMAA Executive Director and Navy veteran Andy Blevins, who was discharged under the former "Don't Ask, Don't Tell ( DADT ) law. "New York is joining Rhode Island in leading by example to restore honor to LGBTQ veterans who deserve access to the benefits they earned honorably serving our nation. It's important that Congress also take action to ensure these veterans also have access to their federal veterans benefits."

"Countless service members were discharged from the military simply because of who they are. Adding insult to injury, they were then denied the services and benefits they earned as members of our armed forces who fought to protect our country and defend our ideals," said Governor Cuomo in a press release. "With this measure we are righting that wrong and sending a message to LGBTQ veterans that we have their backs, just as they had ours."

An estimated 100,000 service members were discharged between WWII and 1992 based on their actual or perceived sexual orientation. Between 1993 and 2009, 13,194 LGBTQ service members were discharged under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" ( DADT ). Most of those service members received less than honorable discharges, preventing them from accessing numerous state and federal veterans' benefits.

While New York and Rhode Island's new laws only restore access to state and local benefits, veterans discharged under DADT and previous discriminatory policies can apply with the federal government to have their records upgraded. Because it can be complicated and confusing, MMAA assists veterans with this process as part of their mission for the LGBTQ military and veteran community.

MMAA is also currently working with Members of Congress to streamline the cumbersome process for discharge upgrades by passing the "Restore Honor to Service Members Act." This federal legislation would correct the military records of service members discharged solely due to their sexual orientation to reflect their honorable service and reinstate the federal benefits they have earned.

New York's new law also restores state benefits eligibility for veterans who received less than honorable discharges as a result of military sexual trauma, traumatic brain injury, or post-traumatic stress disorder.

Last month, New York became the first state in the country requiring all of its veterans' services staff to be certified in LGBTQ and HIV+ competency training. MMAA was proud to train the New York State Division of Veterans' Services through MMAA's Rainbow Shield certification program, designed to help educate and empower providers and advocates who serve the LGBTQ and HIV+ military and veteran community.

The Modern Military Association of America ( MMAA ) is the nation's largest non-profit organization for LGBTQ service members, military spouses, veterans and allies. Created through the merger of OutServe-SLDN and the American Military Partner Association, MMAA is a united voice for the LGBTQ military and veteran community. Find out more at www.ModernMilitary.org .

—From a press release


facebook twitter google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

NCLR condemns rush to replace Justice Ginsburg 2020-09-26 - SAN FRANCISCO, CA — Today, President Donald Trump announced the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to replace Justice Ginsburg, only days after Justice ...


Gay News

Lambda Legal on probable Supreme Court nomination of Amy Coney Barrett 2020-09-26 - ( Washington, D.C., September 25, 2020 ) — In response to reports that President Trump intends to nominate Judge Amy Coney Barrett, currently ...


Gay News

Trump nominates Ginsburg successor, LGBTQs react 2020-09-26 - President Trump announced Sept. 26 his nominee to replace U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and, as expected, she is a jurist ...


Gay News

COVID-19 Indiana moving to Stage 5 of reopening 2020-09-24 - Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb announced that the state will move to stage 5 of reopening as coronavirus trends continue to improve, WSBT.com reported. ...


Gay News

Chicago Bar Association releases 'Judge Smart Guide' 2020-09-23 - The Chicago Bar Association has released its evaluations for judicial candidates who are seeking election or retention to the Illinois Supreme Court, the ...


Gay News

Lambda officials weigh LGBTQ legal challenges ahead 2020-09-23 - Officials from the national LGBTQ-rights advocacy Lambda Legal held an online discussion Sept. 23 to discuss the implications for both the judiciary and ...


Gay News

Ruth Bader Ginsburg films out Sept. 25 2020-09-23 - As a tribute of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's life and legacy, Focus Features and Magnolia Pictures will be re-releasing On ...


Gay News

Chicago releases outdoor dining guidelines for fall, winter 2020-09-22 - Keeping the COVID-19 pandemic in mind, the City of Chicago released guidelines for safe outdoor dining this fall and winter. All outdoor spaces ...


Gay News

Creating Change Conference to hold Oct. 10 day-long event, "Queering Racial Justice" 2020-09-21 - Sept. 21, 2020….Washington, DC…. The National LGBTQ Task Force and Creating Change will hold a day-long event ( 12:30 ET to 6:30 ET ...


Gay News

WORLD Barbados items, EU's criticism, Billie Jean King, Equality Act 2020-09-21 - Barbados is ready to grant legal status to same-sex couples, in a major breakthrough for gay rights lobbying in the Caribbean Community ( ...


 



Copyright © 2020 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor


 



About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.