Nigel Campbell's picture

Soldiers Discharged Under 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' May Receive 'Honorable' Status

This could be a huge step towards rectifying the damage done to LGBT service members that were unfairly denied their right to continue serving their country as a result of their sexuality. 

Two U.S. House Representatives Marc Pocan (D-WI) and Charlie Rangel (D-NY) have proposed legislation that would restore gay and lesbian soldiers that were "dishonorably discharged" as a result of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" to "honorable service" status. 

Pocan released a statement saying:

Almost two years since the landmark repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,” tens of thousands of gay veterans who served this country with honor and dignity possess records that remain blemished with a range of discharges because of their sexuality. To support the Department of Defense’s efforts to rectify this injustice, U.S. Representatives Mark Pocan (D-WI) and Charlie Rangel (D-NY) today proposed legislation, the “Restore Honor to Service Members Act,” that would ensure gay and lesbian service members who were discharged for no other reason than their sexual orientation have their records upgraded to reflect their honorable service.

Since World War II to the repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” in 2011, approximately 114,000 service members were discharged because of their sexual orientation.

“As we celebrate the considerable progress we’ve made toward full equality in our military, we cannot forget about those who continue to suffer because of the discriminatory policies of our past,” said Pocan, co-chair of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus. “Our legislation ensures that gay veterans who selflessly served our country no longer live with tarnished records that prohibit them from receiving the recognition, benefits and honors they deserve. By enshrining the implementation of the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” repeal into law, our country can finally close this dark chapter of our history and move forward.”


Of course, the legislation still has to pass. Will the Republican controlled House, pass legislation that honors the service of gay and lesbian service members and attempts to right the wrongs that they've faced??