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California Gov. Newsom indicators invoice to assist LGBTQ army veterans reclaim advantages

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California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Saturday signed a invoice that can assist LGBTQ veterans discharged underneath “do not ask, do not inform” insurance policies reestablish their eligibility for Veterans Affairs advantages.

The invoice, AB 325 by Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin, D-Thousand Oaks, assists LGBTQ veterans in updating their information and accessing training, well being, burial, and different advantages accessible to honorably discharged service members. 

FILE: California Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks during a news conference as CalVet Secretary Vito Imbasciani looks on at the Veterans Home of California, Friday, May 22, 2020, in Yountville, Calif.

FILE: California Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks throughout a information convention as CalVet Secretary Vito Imbasciani appears to be like on on the Veterans Dwelling of California, Friday, Could 22, 2020, in Yountville, Calif. (AP Picture/Eric Risberg, Pool, File)

“For many years, our bravest heroes, women and men who wore the uniforms of the armed providers needed to disguise who they actually had been, and lots of had been aside from honorably discharged if their sexuality was found,” Newsom mentioned in a press release after asserting he had signed the invoice.

Gays and lesbians had been banned within the army till the 1993 approval of “do not ask, do not inform,” which allowed them to serve provided that they didn’t brazenly acknowledge their sexual orientation. Somewhat than serving to, advocates say, the coverage created extra issues. In its total historical past, the army dismissed greater than 100,000 service members primarily based on their sexual or gender identities — 14,000 of them throughout “do not ask, do not inform.”

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Repeal of the legislation was permitted by Congress and then-President Barack Obama in late 2010. The legislation took impact 9 months later, permitting lesbian, homosexual and bisexual individuals to serve brazenly.

The Division of Protection subsequently created a path for veterans who had been discharged underneath the coverage to obtain the total vary of veterans’ advantages.

Nonetheless, many veterans have no idea methods to navigate this essential course of, Newsom mentioned, noting that some have needed to rent costly authorized counsel and different help to reclaim their advantages.

“Whereas the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Inform’ ended a shameful injustice towards LGBTQ Individuals serving in our armed forces, its legacy continues to burden the men and women unfairly ousted underneath the discriminatory coverage,” Newsom mentioned. 

Pres. Bill Clinton (D) signed "don't ask, don't tell" into law in 1993.

Pres. Invoice Clinton (D) signed “do not ask, do not inform” into legislation in 1993. (Picture by Dirck Halstead/Getty Pictures)

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The legislation would require the California Division of Veteran Affairs to ascertain the Veterans Discharge Improve Grant Program to assist advise LGBTQ veterans who had been discharged underneath “do not ask, do not inform” and to assist those that qualify to replace and proper their information and entry veterans’ advantages.

The Related Press contributed to this report

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