Veterans denied honorable discharges because of their sexual orientation can begin submitting applications under The Restoration of Honor Act. This act allows veterans to have their New York State veterans’ benefits restored.
“Restoring state benefits to LGBTQ veterans who were denied honorable discharge simply for being who they are is the right thing to do and an appropriate way to show our appreciation for their service to this country,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said earlier this week. “New York continues to lead the way on equality and justice, and as communities across this nation are rallying for urgent reforms we must continue to build on our progress including by repealing the discriminatory ‘walking while trans’ statute that invariably hurts transgender people of color.”
Rolling applications are open for veterans who were denied an honorable discharge because of their sexual orientation or gender identity to have their New York State veterans’ benefits restored. Signed by the governor last November, the Restoration of Honor Act restores benefit eligibility for veterans who received less than honorable discharges as a result of military sexual trauma, traumatic brain injury, or post-traumatic stress disorder as well as because of other exclusionary policies such as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”