LGBT Veterans

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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 → ]
Julien Behal, Press Association (via AP, File)

Gay, Irish, in Boston? The St. Patrick’s Day Parade is not for you

Wednesday, March 5, 2014
Let me begin by saying I’m not Irish – something my Irish partner Susan tries daily to not hold against me – and I do not understand the need for all the St. Patrick’s Day tomfoolery. That said, it is beyond my scope of reason to believe that there is not one Irish LGBTQ person in the city of Boston who wouldn’t love to march in their annual parade and celebrate their heritage and their service in the U.S. military... [ 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 → ]

Military veterans join effort to legalize marriage equality in Ill.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- Illinois military veterans are joining the effort to legalize gay marriage in the state. [ Read more → ]
John Banvard (left) and Gerard Nadeau

WWII, Vietnam vets marry in veterans home first same-sex wedding

Saturday, September 14, 2013
CHULA VISTA, Calif. – Two U.S. military veterans married this week when a senior living facility for military veterans held its first ever same-sex marriage. [ Read more → ]
Nickolai Hammar, Daily NebraskanScott Schneider, 32, is a volunteer at the LGBTQA Resource Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He was in the military before choosing to undergo female-to-male gender reassignment.

Transgender veteran uses experience to reach out to others

Sunday, September 8, 2013
Scott Schneider’s mom still calls him Megan. His dad quit talking to him for eight years. After struggling with his identity for most of his life, Schneider — a military veteran – started going by Scott in 2007 and began the medical process of transitioning from a female to a male in 2008. Today, he’s worked at UNL’s LGBTQA resource center for a year and a half. [ Read more → ]
Eric Holder

Obama administration will not enforce ban on same-sex veterans benefits

Wednesday, September 4, 2013
WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration said Wednesday it will stop enforcing a law that blocks benefits to partners of military veterans in same-sex marriages. [ Read more → ]
U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.)

Shaheen: Same-sex benefits bill should apply to Veterans Affairs

Sunday, September 1, 2013
CONCORD, N.H. -- U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire says she's planning to move forward with her bill that would grant benefits to same-sex married couples in the military after learning that legislation is still necessary to grant veterans in same-sex marriages those same benefits. [ 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 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 → ]
Carmen Cardona

Conn. vet leading legal effort for spousal benefits of gay veterans

Friday, August 16, 2013
HARTFORD, Conn. -- An 18-year Navy veteran from Norwich is joining forces with U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal to try to persuade the federal Department of Veterans Affairs to abide by a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling concerning gay marriage and extend all federal benefits to veterans with same-sex spouses. [ Read more → ]

Gay combat vet who lost leg in Iraq booed by anti-gay protesters in San Antonio

Thursday, August 15, 2013
SAN ANTONIO -- A highly decorated openly gay Iraq war combat veteran was booed by a crowd of anti-gay protesters during his speech to the San Antonio City Council meeting Wednesday evening. [ Read more → ]

Senate committee advances military spouses, veterans benefits bills

Wednesday, July 24, 2013
WASHINGTON -- The Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs on Wednesday approved a package of bills to improve benefits and health care services for veterans and their families, including the Charlie Morgan Military Spouses Equal Treatment Act. [ Read more → ]

Record number of healthcare facilities commit to equal care for LGBT patients

Thursday, July 11, 2013
WASHINGTON – U.S. hospitals and clinics are increasingly committed to equality for LGBT patients, according to a report released Thursday by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation. [ Read more → ]

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 → ]

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 → ]

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 → ]
Retired Air Force Lt. Col. Linda Campbell (right) has received approval to bury her longtime partner, Nancy Lynchild, at Willamette National Cemetery.Handout photo.

Veterans Affairs grants burial rights for Oregon veteran’s same-sex spouse

Friday, February 15, 2013
The Department of Veterans Affairs has decided to allow the same-sex spouse of a member of the military to be buried in a U.S. national cemetery. VA Secretary Eric Shinseki used his discretionary authority to allow the burial of Nancy Lynchild's ashes, the agency said Thursday. [ Read more → ]
Gravesite of USAF SSGT Leonard Matlovich, at the Congressional Cemetery in Washington. Maltovich died in 1988. Key, The Washington Blade

National LGBT Veterans Memorial planned at Congressional Cemetery

Tuesday, August 7, 2012
WASHINGTON -- A national memorial honoring Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender veterans representing the five armed services -- Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard -- is slated to be constructed on the grounds of the historic Congressional Cemetery in southeast D.C. Washington D.C. [ Read more → ]
Tracey Cooper-Harris (right) with her spouse Maggie.

SPLC asks court to block House GOP attempt to delay disabled veteran’s case

Tuesday, June 19, 2012
MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) on Monday asked a federal court to block efforts by U.S. House Republicans to further delay a decorated 12-year U.S. Army veteran in a legal same-sex marriage from seeking the same benefits provided to other married veterans and their spouses. [ Read more → ]
Carmen Cardona

Brief challenges laws discriminating against gay and lesbian veterans

Saturday, April 28, 2012
WASHINGTON -- A law firm that is part of the challenge against California's Proposition 8 this week filed a "friend of the court" brief on behalf of a coalition of national veterans' service organizations asking the court to strike down laws discriminating against gay and lesbian veterans. [ Read more → ]

Lawsuit challenges DOMA, Veterans Affairs over denial of benefits to married same-sex couples

Wednesday, February 1, 2012
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) refusal to grant equal disability benefits to an Army veteran in a same-sex marriage is a violation of the veteran’s constitutional rights, according to a federal lawsuit filed Wednesday by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and the law firm of WilmerHale. [ Read more → ]

Out service member announces bid for Colorado state House

Thursday, October 13, 2011
Army Veteran Brian Carroll on Thursday announced his candidacy for the Colorado State House of Representatives, and is believe to be the first out Armed Forces Veteran in the country to officially file and run for office since the repeal of "Don’t Ask Don’t Tell" last month. [ Read more → ]
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