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


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.

On Thursday, the state House of Representatives voted 134-0 in favor of legislation making veterans eligible for state benefits if they have been denied federal benefits solely because of their sexual orientation.

The veteran’s federal benefits must have also been reinstated.

The bill was passed by the Senate last month in a 34-0 vote.

From Dec. 21, 1993, until Sept. 20, 2011, openly gay and lesbian members of the military were prohibited from serving in the armed forces under the policy known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Those who violated the policy were discharged.

Stamford Sen. Carlo Leone said last month that the bill “cannot undo the mistakes of our past” but can help restore rightly earned benefits.

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