The Biden administration announced on Thursday that they will “reevaluate & assess” how the Department of Defense may rectify discharges that were made under “don’t ask, don’t tell.” Reports have revealed that many of the veterans who were kicked out of the military for being gay still haven’t been able to receive their honorable discharge status. Making them ineligible for any type of benefits that veterans typically receive.
The announcement was made during Thursday’s press conference by White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre. “It’s concerning, it is very concerning that veterans who were unfairly discharged under the don’t ask, don’t tell have been facing these challenges to upgrade their discharges, denying them benefits they have earned,” she said. “It’s something that we definitely are going to look into.”
It is estimated that 14,000 service members were forced out of the U.S. military during its 18 years of “don’t ask, don’t tell.” Military personell that in some cases have been prevented from accessing VA loan programs, health care benefits and college tuition assistance.
The policy was implemented by Bill Clinton as a “compromise” that sought to allow gay, bisexual and lesbian service members to remain in the military as long as they remained in the closet. The law was repealed in 2011.