Rhode Island allowed dishonorably discharged LGBT veterans to restore the benefits

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Rhode Island’s governor Gina Raimondo marked the Veteran’s Day with the announcement that the state benefits for veterans are going to be extended to those who were discharged because of their sexuality when it was not permitted to be an openly LGBT militant (the policy known as ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’). It’s estimated that more than 100,000 LGBT+ people were ‘dishonorably’ or ‘less than honorably’ discharged from the US military between World War II and the official repeal of ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ 8 years ago. The bill, which also encompasses gender identity and gender expression, was first signed into law in June. It provides a streamlined petition process to have a discharge from service recorded as honorable, thus restoring the veteran’s benefits. “Far too many veterans have been discharged, shamed and left without the benefits they earned because of decades of a dehumanizing policy that said they couldn’t serve,” Rhode Island Senator Dawn Euer, one of the bill’s sponsors, said in a statement.

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