Law fixes legal loophole to ensure LGBT veterans can access benefits
DENVER, CO – Today, the Restoration of Honor Act, championed by Sen. Dominick Moreno (D-Commerce City) and Representative David Ortiz (D-Littleton), officially came into force. SB21-026, enacted earlier this year, ensures that LGBT veterans who receive a dishonorable discharge from the military because of their sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression can access the same benefits as their peers.
“Today, as we celebrate Veterans Day, we are also celebrating an important and historic step towards fairness and equity within our armed forces.” said Senator Dominick Moreno (D-Commerce City). “No one should be denied state benefits owed to all other Colorado veterans just because of who they are, but unfortunately they have been – until now. With this law, we are saying loud and clear that all members of our military, regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation, deserve to receive the same benefits as their counterparts when they return home from service – and that This is exactly what this law is all about. accomplish. “
“Our country’s army is the leading combat force in the world because the men and women who serve do so voluntarily and with immense pride for their country,” said Rep. David Ortiz (D-Littleton). “Ensuring that veterans receive the benefits they have earned, regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation, will go a long way in ensuring that they can continue to be proud of their service. Today marks a milestone for the Colorado veteran community, and I am honored to have played a role.
Before the repeal of “Don’t ask, don’t tell”, countless military personnel were dismissed other than honorably because of their sexual orientation, gender identity or expression. This has prevented many LGBTQ + Colorado veterans from qualifying for the same public programs and benefits that their peers have access to. SB21-026, the Honor Restoration Act, will create the status of “discharged LGBT veteran” and allow Coloradans who fall into this category to access existing state programs available to honorably discharged veterans.