The four openly gay and lesbian members of Congress are calling on the Pentagon to restore the benefits earned by military personnel who were discharged under the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. U.S. Reps. Barney Frank, D-Mass., Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., Jared Polis, D-Colo., and David Cicilline, D-R.I., have signed onto a letter to top Pentagon officials from the office of Rep. Gwen Moore, D-Wis.
According to a release tonight from Baldwin’s office:
Congressman Frank said, “While we cannot completely undo the injustice that has been done to gay and lesbian service members, we can at least diminish the harm they suffered by preserving the benefits they earned.”
Congresswoman Baldwin said, “It’s time to right a grievous wrong and fully recognize the military service of gay and lesbian Americans discharged under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” One way of recognizing their service is to allow them the benefits they rightly earned. We cannot undo the injustice these former servicemembers have already suffered, but we can begin to serve them as honorably as they served our country.”
Congressman Polis said, “All the men and women who wear the uniform of this country deserve not only our deepest respect, but also our unwavering support regardless of whether they are straight or gay. Repealing DADT was an incredible victory for our nation and strengthens our armed forces, but the fight is not yet entirely over. As we fully implement the repeal of DADT, we must take action to ensure fair treatment for the many soldiers who, despite bravely serving our country, were discharged under this policy. They have earned it.”
Congressman Cicilline said, “While the discriminatory DADT policy has been repealed, there are still soldiers who may suffer from lack of benefits due to a former dishonorable discharge. The brave men and women defending our country abroad put their lives on the line so that we at home do not have to. These courageous servicemen and women deserve the benefits they rightly earned.”
Photo: Michelle Stocker/The Capital Times