By Bob Katzen
The Senate 40-0, approved an amendment requiring that LGBTQ service members who were forced out of the military with anything other than an honorable discharge under the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell'” policy that barred openly gay, lesbian or bisexual persons from military service from 1994 to 2011, be eligible for state benefits from the Massachusetts Department of Veterans Services.
“’Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ represents a truly dark point in the history of our nation and the tragic truth is that so many of our LGBTQ veterans are still feeling the effects of the policy to this day,” said Sen. John Velis (D-Westfield), Senate chair of the Legislature’s Veterans Committee and a current Major in the U.S. Army Reserve, the sponsor of the amendment. “For far too long, thousands of courageous individuals have been told that they are not worthy of the same benefits that their comrades and counterparts earned, all because of who they are and who they love. These veterans served and fought alongside us, they bled the same color and this amendment will ensure that they receive the benefits and services they have earned in service to our nation.”
(A “Yes” vote is for the amendment.)
Sen. Patricia Jehlen Yes