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Biden Will Pardon LGBTQ Veterans

By Charlotte Robinson, June 26, 2024

President Biden has announced that LGBTQ U.S. veterans convicted because of their sexual orientation by the military during the last 60 years prior to the demise of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” will be pardoned. Biden stated, “Despite their courage & great sacrifice, thousands of LGBTQI+ service members were forced out of the military because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Some of these patriotic Americans were subject to court-martial & have carried the burden of this great injustice for decades.” Brian K. Bond, CEO of PFLAG National concluded, "PFLAG families have advocated for the dignity & respect due our LGBTQ+ heroes in uniform since the dark days of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' & the shadow discharges that predated that discriminatory policy. As someone who worked on repeal during the Obama-Biden administration I met incredible patriots that just wanted to serve their country. Thank you to the Biden-Harris administration & those who continue to fight for military families' freedom to serve. This welcomed day is long overdue for thousands of LGBTQ+ veterans & their families." This comes last week after a federal court in San Francisco refused to dismiss a class-action lawsuit brought by more than 35,000 LGBTQ veterans against the Defense Department claiming they were wrongfully discharged because of their sexual orientation & disqualified for veterans benefits. We got into this mess when Republican Dwight Eisenhower was elected president & issued Executive Order 10450 on April 27th 1953 that revoked Truman’s Loyalty Board Program Executive Order 9835 of 1947 resulting in over 5,000 Federal gay & lesbian government employees fired & thousands of military members dishonorably discharged that began The Lavender Scare & witch hunt of the 1950’s & continued until 1975. Just a little LGBTQ history as we gear up for the 55th anniversary of Stonewall.

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