Human Rights Campaign Applauds President Biden's Pardon of Soldiers Wrongfully Discharged for LGBTQ+ Identities

by Cullen Peele

This morning, President Biden issued a pardon of LGBTQ+ soldiers wrongfully discharged over a 60-year period under a military policy that banned same-sex intimacy. For decades, LGBTQ+ service members were targeted for discharge based on how they identify and who they love. That practice finally changed with the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" in 2010 and the 2013 revisions to the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Today’s move will restore benefits to potentially thousands of former service members.

HRC President Kelley Robinson issued the following statement:

We applaud President Biden for taking action today, and the Biden-Harris Administration’s efforts to address this historic injustice that impacted thousands of LGBTQ+ people in the military for decades, with the effects still felt by many to this day. This move to rightfully restore reputations lost and gratitude owed to service members who were punished for who they loved is long overdue, and a significant step in the right direction. No LGBTQ+ veteran should be denied critical services such as military pensions, home loans and college tuition benefits just because of who they are. We look forward to working with the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs to ensure that every LGBTQ+ veteran harmed by discriminatory policies in years past gets the proper recognition, benefits, and services they deserve.

Kelley Robinson, President, Human Rights Campaign

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