Shaheen Backs Review Of Military Discharges For Gay And Lesbian Servicemembers

Jul 20, 2015

New Hampshire US Senator Jeanne Shaheen. File photo.
Credit Brady Carlson / NHPR

New Hampshire US Senator Jeanne Shaheen is cosponsoring a bill that would review the service records of those who were discharged from the military for being gay or lesbian. 

Shaheen is one of 22 Senators that signed on last week to the bill from Hawaii Democrat Brian Schatz. It would require the Defense Department to establish processes for reviewing records and reclassifying discharges that were based on, or refer to, an individual's sexual orientation. 

The bill’s backers say as many as 100,000 service members received military discharges since World War II because of their sexual orientation. They say such discharges could cause difficulties for individuals looking for civilian work, and that the current Pentagon policies around reviewing records pose too many obstacles and aren’t available to all. 

The Hill reports the measure was first introduced in the last Congress, but did not come up for a vote.