Veterans’ Benefits (H 7204)DIED
Category: 2018 Gay and Lesbian Rights
Prior to the end of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," military veterans who were discharged because of their sexuality were given a "less than honorable" discharge which left them unable to qualify for many of the benefits they would have otherwise earned, including disabled housing and burial at the veterans cemetery. Legislation (H 7204) by Rep. Camille Vella-Wilkinson sought to rectify this unconscionable practice by permitting the recipients of "less than honorable" military discharges to qualify for state veterans' benefits when the discharge was based on the veteran's sexual orientation. The ACLU testified in support of this legislation before the House Veterans Affairs committee in May, but the committee failed to act on the legislation before the end of the session.