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Bill to Provide Equitable Benefits for LGBT+ Veterans PassesSenate

Legislation would ensure LGBT+ veterans are able to access benefits despite being discharged due to their personal identity

Denver, CO – Today, the Senate unanimously passed the Restoration of Honor Act, sponsored by Senator Dominick Moreno. The bill, SB21-026, would ensure that LGBT+ veterans who receive a dishonorable discharge from the military can access the same veteran benefits as their peers, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. 

“Anyone who serves this country should be able to return home and be provided with all of the resources our state can muster to improve and enhance their lives after service,” said Senator Dominick Moreno, D-Denver.  "However, LGBT+ veterans who were discharged from the military for being who they are, cannot access the same benefits as their peers. This is unacceptable. We must ensure that all veterans – regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity – can access the benefits they deserve, and that’s what this bill seeks to accomplish.”

During the era of "Don't ask, Don't tell", servicemen and women were discharged other than honorably due to their sexual orientation, gender identity, and expression. Because of this kind of discharge status, there are currently LGBTQ+ Coloradans that do not qualify for certain state programs and benefits. 

As such, Senator Moreno’s bill would establish a "discharged LGBT veteran" status for the purpose of Colorado law and amend various existing state programs to make a discharged LGBT veteran eligible for such benefits.

Having passed the Senate on Third Reading, the bill now moves to the House of Representatives for consideration. To track the progress of the bill, visit the Colorado General Assembly’s website.