California enacts law to help LGBTQ military veterans

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Published: Sep. 18, 2022 at 9:31 AM PDT
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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - California’s governor has signed a law he says will help military service members who were discharged under “don’t ask, don’t tell” policies to reestablish eligibility for Veterans Affairs benefits. Gov. Gavin Newsom said Saturday many veterans who were discharged because of sexual or gender identities don’t know how to access benefits they might be eligible for.

The law requires the state to create a grant program to help LGBTQ veterans through the process. Gays and lesbians were banned in the military until the 1993 approval of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” which allowed them to serve if they did not openly admit their sexual orientation. Advocates say the policy just created more problems.