The Battles that Remain: Military Service and LGBT Equality
“It is unclear if gay and lesbian veterans will receive spousal benefits if they do not reside in a state that recognizes same-sex marriage; conservatives are attempting to make it easier for service members to harass gay and lesbian troops by establishing broad exemptions for the religious views of service members; transgender Americans are still prohibited from serving in any capacity; and some veterans who were kicked out for being gay or lesbian are still fighting for a discharge upgrade, which affects their ability to gain health care coverage and find employment.
The mission for full equality in the military is incomplete. Here are other major issue areas where LGBT Americans continue to face discrimination in our nation’s armed forces.”
“LGBT equality in the military is not just an issue of fairness; it is also about facing the reality that LGBT Americans serve in uniform and make sacrifices on our behalf, just like their heterosexual counterparts. It is the explicit duty of members of Congress and the commander-in-chief to support our military and to ensure that the men and women in uniform are able to perform to the best of their abilities. So while some conservative members of Congress have been wasting time attempting to roll back progress on the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and inserting frivolous language into the FY 2014 National Defense Authorization Act—the single-most critical bill to ensuring the functioning of our nation’s military—they could have been focusing on funding the programs that preserve our security and support the troops. It is time that lawmakers lead, follow, or get out of the way when it comes to caring for our troops and achieving LGBT equality in the military.”