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 2019-12-11
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
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

Velazquez, Craig and Maloney Press HHS on Removal of LGBTQ Protections 2019-12-12 - Washington, DC — More than one hundred members of the U.S. House of Representatives have written the Trump Administration's Department of Health and ...


Gay News

Lambda Legal: Van Dyke's Confirmation An Affront to LGBT Community 2019-12-11 - ( Washington, DC, December 11, 2019 ) — Today, Sasha Buchert, Senior Attorney at Lambda Legal, issued the following statement after the U.S. ...


Gay News

State rep candidate reveals connection to Gacy 2019-12-11 - Running for Illinois state representative, former comedian/radio host Patti Vasquez has revealed that the late serial killer John Wayne Gacy murdered her brother, ...


Gay News

Memoir profiles lesser-known sides of Edie Windsor 2019-12-11 - Mention the name Edie Windsor, and many LGBT residents would correctly associate her with the landmark litigation that ultimately paved the way for ...


Gay News

WORLD Marriages in Brazil, chemsex, couple attacked, Gus Kenworthy 2019-12-10 - The state Institute Brazilian Geography and Statistics said that same-sex marriages in Brazil grew 61.7 percent in 2018—a trend that grew from October, ...


Gay News

GOP offers answer to Equality Act; LGBTQs criticize measure 2019-12-06 - On Dec. 6, Republican Utah Rep. Chris Stewart unveiled the so-called Fairness for All Act—legislation that supposedly protects LGBTQ+ people against discrimination in ...


Gay News

Lambda Legal to 11th Circuit: Schools Must Provide Trans Students Equal Restroom Access 2019-12-05 - ( ATLANTA - Dec. 5, 2019 ) — Today, Lambda Legal asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit to affirm ...


Gay News

Johnson retires after Lightfoot fires him 2019-12-05 - Former Chicago Police Department Superintendent Eddie Johnson—fired for allegedly lying to Mayor Lori Lightfoot about his actions in the hours before he was ...


Gay News

Pritzker strengthens state's cannabis law 2019-12-04 - Surrounded by criminal-justice reform advocates and lawmakers at Cabrini Green Legal Aid, Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker signed legislation Dec. 4 to strengthen what ...


Gay News

Panel faces legal challenges for trans and HIV-positive service members 2019-12-03 - U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley ( D-5 ) was joined by legal experts at the Pritzker Military Museum the afternoon of Dec. 2 for ...


 



Copyright © 2019 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
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos 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.