Tenth anniversary of the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

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Today marks the tenth anniversary of the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, a policy put into place on Feb. 28, 1994 to prevent lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) service members from serving in the military openly.

Today, we are also taking steps to clarify VA policy for Veterans who were given other than honorable discharges based on homosexual conduct, gender identity or HIV status. Under this newly-issued guidance, VA adjudicators shall find that all discharged service members whose separation was due to sexual orientation, gender identity or HIV status are considered “Veterans” who may be eligible for VA benefits, like VR&E, home loan guaranty, compensation & pension, health care, homeless program and/or burial benefits, so long as the record does not implicate a statutory or regulatory bar to benefits.

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