Connecticut Bill to Restore Benefits for Discharged Gay Veterans To Hit Gov.’s Desk soon

Gay and Lesbians Veterans Discharged under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy

“Don’t ask, don’t tell” (DADT) was the official United States policy on gays serving in the military from December 21, 1993, to September 20, 2011.  The policy prohibited military personnel from discriminating against or harassing closeted homosexual or bisexual persons from military service.

The act prohibited any homosexual or bisexual person from disclosing his or her sexual orientation or from speaking about any homosexual relationships, including marriages of other familial attributes, while serving in the United States armed forces.  The act specified that service members who disclose that they are homosexual or engage in homosexual conduct should be separated (discharged) except when a service member’s conduct was “for the purpose of avoiding or terminating military service: Since DADT ended in 2011, open gays and lesbians have been able to serve.

Veterans’ Eligibility for State Benefits

On May 16, the state House of Representatives voted 134-0 in favor of legislation making veterans eligible for state benefits if they have been denied federal benefits solely because of their sexual orientation. Another requirement is that the veteran’s federal benefits must have been reinstated.

Last month, the bill, in a 34-0 vote, was passed by the Senate. Senator Carlo Leone ( D-36 of Stamford and Darien) said last month that the bill “cannot undo the mistakes of our past but can help restore rightly earned benefits.”

The legislation will soon be on Governor Dannel Mallory’s desk.

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