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Reps Call to Right DADT Wronged

By Charlotte Robinson, February 04, 2011
U.S. Representatives Gwen Moore (D-Wis.), Barney Frank
(D-Mass.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Jared Polis (D-Colo.)
& David Cicilline (D-R.I.) wrote to the Secretaries of Defense
& Veterans Affairs to ensure that gays & lesbians military
discharged under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” get the benefits they
earned. These letters come at a crucial time in the repeal process
as Secretary Gates has requested a plan – by tomorrow – that
moves repeal forward & recommends Department policy changes.
The letters ask Secretaries Gates & Shinseki to address the issue
of discharges in the repeal process. Some gay & lesbian service
members discharged under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” or previous
policies were discharged in a way that may block access to health
care for veterans, education through the GI Bill & other benefits.
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Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin said...

It’s time to right a grievous wrong and fully recognize the military service of gay and lesbian Americans discharged under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” One way of recognizing their service is to allow them the benefits they rightly earned. We cannot undo the injustice these former servicemembers have already suffered, but we can begin to serve them as honorably as they served our country.

Congressman Barney Frank said...

While we cannot completely undo the injustice that has been done to gay and lesbian service members, we can at least diminish the harm they suffered by preserving the benefits they earned.

Congresswoman Gwen Moore said...

Even after we have ceremoniously repealed ‘Don’t’ Ask, Don’t Tell’ we know there are still consequences. For some gays and lesbians the policy might as well have been – don’t ask, don’t tell, don’t provide veterans benefits they earned. We need to get rid of that silent part because we can’t leave anyone behind as our nation moves forward.

Congressman Jared Polis said...

All the men and women who wear the uniform of this country deserve not only our deepest respect, but also our unwavering support regardless of whether they are straight or gay. Repealing DADT was an incredible victory for our nation and strengthens our armed forces, but the fight is not yet entirely over. As we fully implement the repeal of DADT, we must take action to ensure fair treatment for the many soldiers who, despite bravely serving our country, were discharged under this policy. They have earned it.

Congressman David Cicilline said...

While the discriminatory DADT policy has been repealed, there are still soldiers who may suffer from lack of benefits due to a former dishonorable discharge. The brave men and women defending our country abroad put their lives on the line so that we at home do not have to. These courageous servicemen and women deserve the benefits they rightly earned.

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