LGBT vets with other than honorable discharges will get VA benefits under new plan

- MILITARY TIMES - Leo Shane III - SEP 17, 2021 -

Color Guard members from the Navy and Marine Corps march in the San Diego Pride Parade on July 14, 2018 . (Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Nicholas Burgains/Navy))

Tens of thousands of LGBT veterans forced from the military for their sexual orientation and given other-than-honorable discharges will be able to receive full Veterans Affairs benefits despite their dismissal status under a new move set to be announced Monday.

The change comes as the country approaches the 10th anniversary of the repeal of the controversial “don’t ask, don’t tell” law which forced nearly 14,000 service members out of the ranks for admitting their sexual orientation.

But the impact of the new VA announcement goes further than just those individuals, to potentially including troops who served before and after the law who may have been given bad performance reviews or intimidated into leaving the military because of their LGBT status.

Outside advocates estimate as many as 100,000 over the last 70 years may have been involuntarily separated from the military based on their sexual orientation. Data on how many received other-than-honorable discharges is not available.


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