Pan's Penned Proposal Passes

Legislation sponsored by California State Assembly Member Dr. Richard Pan (D) that seeks to reinstate veterans benefits for LGBT service mem...

Legislation sponsored by California State Assembly Member Dr. Richard Pan (D) that seeks to reinstate veterans benefits for LGBT service members was approved by the state assembly today.

Prior to last years change, homosexuals were not permitted to openly served in the armed forces. These policies resulted in various levels of discharge for tens of thousands of LGBT service members. Veterans separated from the military with a discharge that is characterized as “dishonorable” or “other than honorable” are ineligible to receive state and federal veterans’ benefits.

AB 1505 would reinstate California veterans benefits, rescinded due to a discharge based solely on sexual orientation, automatically when the federal government does the same. The bill also directs the Department of Veterans Affairs to provide resources from veterans legal services organizations that specialize in discharge upgrades and claims representation. One of these veterans’ legal services organizations, Swords to Plowshares, has worked to upgrade discharges for LGBT veterans for decades.

“Applying for VA benefits is a confusing process which many veterans are unable to navigate alone,” said Swords to Plowshares representative Keith Boylan. “Effective claims representation is often the difference between a veteran being denied benefits, and a life-time of health care, disability compensation, and other benefits.”


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2 comments

Anonymous said...

Awesome...he has my vote!

Anonymous said...

I think this legislation needs to be slightly modified when it moves to the Senate. As far as I can tell, folks who are Transgendered cannot enter the service so it is unlikely that they would have been removed from the service for being Transgendered.

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