Several LGBTQ veterans who received less than honorable discharges due to their sexual orientation during the U.S. military’s “don’t ask don’t tell” policy are suing the Defense Department.
The group says in its lawsuit that their constitutional rights were violated when the government failed to update them to honorable discharges when the discriminatory policy was repealed in 2010.
A group of LGBTQ veterans is suing the Department of Defense, arguing that it violated their constitutional rights when it failed to update their discharges to honorable discharges after repealing the “don’t ask don’t tell” policy over a decade ago. https://t.co/ftF2lmliez
— The Hill (@thehill) August 9, 2023
From The Hill:
Veterans who were discharged under “don’t ask don’t tell” for their actual or perceived sexual orientation often received discharge paperwork that identifies their sexuality as the reason for their discharge, according to Tuesday’s lawsuit.
The discharge papers, known as DD214s, also burden veterans “with discharge rankings below honorable” and bar them from reenlisting.
“Discharge paperwork bearing these markers carries the legacy of the anti-LGBTQ+ policies that the military has now disavowed,” the lawsuit says.
The plaintiffs are not seeking monetary damages and instead are asking DOD to remove all indicators of sexual orientation from theirs and other LGBTQ veterans’ DD214s.
Those still carrying the less than honorable discharges today say they are deprived of the full spectrum of benefits including VA loan programs, college tuition assistance, health care and some jobs.
An estimated 14,000 service members were discharged because of their actual or perceived sexual orientation during the almost 18 years the military’s “don’t ask don’t tell” policy was in place.
Several LGBTQ veterans who were kicked out of the military because of their sexuality are suing the Defense Department to have their discriminatory discharges changed: “It hurt, ’cause my country’s telling me I’m not good enough to serve because of who I love.” pic.twitter.com/mQ2afACiGG
— CBS Mornings (@CBSMornings) August 9, 2023