Congressman Rangel is supporting an effort to remove the dishonorable to discharges issued to service members drummed out of the US military services due to their sexual orientation.
With the Restore Honor to Service Members Act, members of Congress plan to change the discharge status of those dishonorably expelled from the military because of their sexual orientation prior to the repeal the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.“Congress’s 2011 repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ ended institutionalized discrimination against gay and lesbian members of the military. Yet thousands of individuals still bear the scars of that discrimination, with their military records tarnished with discharges other than honorable or discriminatory discharge narratives that reveal their sexual orientation,” the bill summary reads.
This bill would reopen cases where service members were dishonorably discharged due solely to their sexual orientation. Since World War II, 100,000 service members have been discharged dishonorably due to their sexual orientation.
The bill would restore healthcare benefits, education stipends and, in some states, voting rights.
Supporting this effort is not difficult but we will see if the Republicans back what is exclusively Democratic sponsored legislation at this point.