A bill signing ceremony has been held by Governor Lamont for a measure dealing with veterans. The bill was co-authored by Bethel Representative Raghib Allie-Brennan to restore state benefits to Connecticut service members who were denied an honorable discharge due to their sexual orientation or gender identity.
He says for decades, policies like “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” punished American patriots trying to serve their country. This new law corrects what he called an incredible injustice and acknowledges that people should be able to serve openly and be proud of who they are. It’s estimated that nearly 100,000 U.S. Military members were discharged because of sexual orientation since World War II.
The measure will not change any federal benefits.
There are no statistics on the number of potentially eligible veterans in Connecticut. Veterans' Affairs Commissioner Thomas Saadi estimates there are a few hundred who will benefit from the new law. While the number is small, he says the impact on those affected is great.