LGBT Service Members

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TransMilitary

Preview: TransMilitary highlights the lives of transgender service members

Monday, March 31, 2014
On this Transgender Day of Visibility, the transgender advocacy group TransMilitary offers a preview of their project, set for release later this year, that highlights the lives of transgender service members here in the U.S. (where being transgender in the military is banned), and in the United Kingdom (where serving as openly transgender is allowed). [ Read more → ]
us-military

Report: ‘No compelling medical reason’ to ban transgender military service

Thursday, March 13, 2014
SAN FRANCISCO -- An independent commission led by a former U.S. surgeon general has concluded there "is no compelling medical reason" for the U.S. armed forces to prohibit transgender Americans from serving and that President Barack Obama could lift the decades-old ban without approval from Congress, according to a report being released Thursday. [ Read more → ]
Elegance-Bratton

Gay Marine’s amazing journey from homeless shelter to Ivy League

Wednesday, March 5, 2014
U.S. Marine Corps veteran Elegance Bratton was kicked out of his home at the age of 16, spent 10 years homeless, joined the Marines and is now working on a documentary to shed light on youth homelessness in NYC’s West Village. [ Read more → ]
military

Bill would give ‘honorable’ discharges to service members kicked out under DADT

Friday, January 31, 2014
WASHINGTON -- U.S. Sens. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) on Thursday introduced legislation to correct the records of service members discharged from the U.S. military solely due to their sexual orientation prior to the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, to reflect honorable service and reinstate benefits they would have earned. [ Read more → ]
U.S. Rep. Tim Walz (D-Minn.)

U.S. House version of LGBT veterans, family benefits bill introduced

Saturday, November 23, 2013
WASHINGTON -- U.S. Congressman Rep. Tim Walz (D-Minn.) on Wednesday introduced the U.S. House version of the bipartisan "Protecting the Freedoms and Benefits for All Veterans Act," aimed at ensuring LGBT veterans and their families receive equal treatment for equal service. [ Read more → ]
Ryan Conroy, U.S. Air ForceTech. Sgt. Stacy Shunk, and Master Sgt. Angela Shunk.

USAF lesbian couple first to receive ‘Join Spouse’ assignment

Saturday, September 14, 2013
Just three months after the landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling that struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, a lesbian couple in the U.S. Air Force has learned they will receive an assignment together under the service’s Join Spouse program, the first same-sex couple to obtain the joint assignment. [ Read more → ]
U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.)

GOP Senator targets revised marriage leave policy for gay service members

Thursday, September 12, 2013
WASHINGTON -- A ranking Republican member of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee said this week that a newly revised Pentagon policy granting marriage leave for gay service members "legally fails to fix the issue of giving same-sex couples a special benefit." [ Read more → ]
Tracey Cooper-Harris (right) with her spouse Maggie.

Federal judge: Veterans Affairs can’t deny benefits to same-sex couples

Friday, August 30, 2013
LOS ANGELES -- A judge in Los Angeles ruled Thursday that a lesbian Army veteran and her spouse should be entitled to disability benefits given the recent Supreme Court ruling that struck down part of the Defense of Marriage Act. [ Read more → ]
veterans-affairs

Veterans Affairs says it will wait on expanding benefits to same-sex couples

Tuesday, August 27, 2013
WASHINGTON - Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki says Congress or the courts still has more work to do before the VA can provide federal benefits to married, same-sex couples. [ Read more → ]
Chuck Hagel

Pentagon announces benefits for same-sex spouses of service members

Wednesday, August 14, 2013
WASHINGTON -- Same-sex spouses of military members will be eligible for the same health care, housing and other benefits enjoyed by opposite-sex spouses starting Sept. 3, the Pentagon said Wednesday. [ Read more → ]
Dept-of-Defense

Pentagon poised to extend benefits to same-sex military spouses

Wednesday, August 7, 2013
WASHINGTON -- The Pentagon is poised to extend health care, housing and other benefits to the same-sex spouses of military members by the end of August, but may reverse earlier plans to provide benefits to gay partners who are not married. [ Read more → ]
Military

Palm Center to lead $1.35 million study on transgender military service

Wednesday, July 31, 2013
The Palm Center, a think tank at the University of California, Los Angeles, and best known for coordinating more than a decade of research into the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, on Tuesday announced a new, multi-year research initiative to study transgender service in the U.S. military. [ Read more → ]
Service members march in uniform in last year's San Diego pride parade.

U.S. Navy to allow uniformed service members to march in San Diego pride

Saturday, July 6, 2013
SAN DIEGO, Calif. -- The U.S. Navy says that active duty service members under the Region Southwest command may participate in uniform in this year's San Diego LGBT pride parade. [ Read more → ]
Veterans-spouses

Supreme Court gay marriage ruling will benefit many veterans’ spouses

Friday, June 28, 2013
Just two years ago, gays and lesbians were prevented from serving openly in the military. Now, with the Supreme Court ruling this week, same-sex spouses of gay veterans and service members will be able to share in their benefits. [ Read more → ]
Attorney General Eric Holder (left) and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.

Holder: Marriage ruling ‘enormous triumph’ – Pentagon moves on benefits

Wednesday, June 26, 2013
WASHINGTON -- U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder says the Supreme Court's decision declaring the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional is an "enormous triumph" for equal protection under the law for all Americans. [ Read more → ]
Hagel-Pride-410x280

Hagel honors gay service members at Pentagon pride event

Tuesday, June 25, 2013
ARLINGTON, Va. -- In his first appearance at a Pentagon LGBT Pride Month event, U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Tuesday honored gay and lesbian service members, calling them “integral to America’s armed forces.” [ Read more → ]
Chuck Hagel

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to attend Pentagon LGBT Pride event

Wednesday, June 19, 2013
WASHINGTON -- U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel will speak at the Pentagon's Pride event next Tuesday, June 25, honoring gay and lesbian service members. [ Read more → ]
Charlie Morgan

N.H. Senator testifies in support of military benefits for same-sex spouses

Wednesday, June 12, 2013
WASHINGTON -- U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) on Wednesday urged members of the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs to pass a bill that would provide key military benefits for same-sex spouses of gay service members. [ Read more → ]
military-pride

Critics: Defense bill ‘conscience protections’ give license to discriminate against gays

Thursday, June 6, 2013
WASHINGTON -- The U.S. House Armed Services Committee on Wednesday adopted an amendment to expand the so-called “conscience protections” in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that critics say would allow service members to promote anti-gay beliefs without fear of discipline. [ Read more → ]
military

Bill to restore benefits for discharged gay veterans heads to Conn. governor

Thursday, May 16, 2013
HARTFORD, Conn. -- A Connecticut bill that would restore state benefits to gay and lesbian veterans discharged under the U.S. military's former "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy is moving to the governor's desk. [ Read more → ]
gay-military

Conn. lawmakers seek to restore state benefits to discharged gay veterans

Thursday, April 25, 2013
HARTFORD, Conn. -- Connecticut lawmakers are seeking to restore state benefits to gay and lesbian veterans discharged under the U.S. military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. On Wednesday, the Senate voted 34-0 in favor of legislation making veterans eligible for state benefits if they've been... [ Read more → ]
Susana Martinez

N.M. governor criticized for vetoing bill to assist partners of gay service members

Monday, April 8, 2013
SANTA FE, N.M. -- New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez is drawing criticism over her veto of legislation that would have required the state to expedite the occupational and professional licenses of domestic partners of gay military service members. [ Read more → ]
In this Oct. 1, 2012 photo provided by the U.S. Air Force, a U.S. Army carry team transfers the remains of Army Sgt. Donna R. Johnson of Raeford, N.C., at Dover Air Force Base, of her death first because of a federal law that prohibits the U.S. government from recognizing same-sex unions.Photo: U.S. Air Force, Adrian R. Rowan

Same-sex military families look to high court to remedy DOMA’s injustice

Wednesday, March 27, 2013
As the Supreme Court prepares to consider the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act, gay marriage advocates are focusing attention on the way they say the law dishonors gay service members and their spouses, who are denied survivor payments, plots in veterans' cemeteries, base housing and a host of other benefits that have been available to opposite-sex military couples for generations. [ Read more → ]
Allyson Robinson (center) addresses attendees at the Outserve-SLDN National Dinner on Saturday.Photo courtesy Outserve-SLDN.

Outserve-SLDN sets ambitious goal in State of LGBT Military Service address

Sunday, March 10, 2013
Nearly 1,000 service members, veterans, and supporters gathered in Washington on Saturday night for the OutServe-SLDN 2013 National Dinner, and to hear the first State of LGBT Military Equality Address by Allyson Robinson, a U.S. Army Veteran and Executive Director of Outserve-SLDN. [ Read more → ]
Chuck Hagel

U.S. Senate confirms Chuck Hagel for Defense Secretary

Tuesday, February 26, 2013
The U.S. Senate has voted to confirm Chuck Hagel to be the nation's next defense secretary. The vote Tuesday was 58-41, with four Republicans joining Democrats in backing President Barack Obama's nominee. [ Read more → ]
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