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LGBTQ Vets Still Suffering The Consequences of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'

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LGBTQ Vets Still Suffering The Consequences of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'

4 Juli 2023

It's been more than a decade since 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' was repealed. Introduced in 1993, the law remained in effect until 2011. During that time an estimated 114,000 troops were forced out of the military because of their sexual orientation. Veterans who received an "other than honorable" discharge from the military under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" were ineligible for veterans' benefits. That meant missing out on benefits like free VA healthcare, VA-backed home loans or funds for college tuition. While the Pentagon says that 90% of applications to change discharge status have been granted, advocates say that as of March 2023, only 1,375 vets have had benefits reinstated – a tiny fraction of the number of affected vets believed to be out there. NPR's Quil Lawrence follows the story of two gay veterans, both affected by "Don't Ask Don't Tell", but in very different ways. In participating regions, you'll also hear a local news segment to help you make sense of what's going on in your community. Email us at Learn more about sponsor message choices: NPR Privacy Policy


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