Before Don’t Ask Don’t Tell was repealed, as many as 114,000 service members were discharged because they were gay, and many of those were dishonorable or other than honorable discharges. The damage those dishonorable discharges have done can’t be undone, but the status of the discharges themselves could be, and two House Democrats—Wisconsin’s Mark Pocan and New York’s Charlie Rangel—have proposed a bill to do just that.
Explaining that many states treat dishonorable discharges as felonies, and that service members discharged for being gay may have had trouble getting work or even been prohibited from voting or getting unemployment benefits or veteran benefits, Pocan details the remedies of the proposed bill.
To pay our respects on the one-year anniversary of the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” we decided to send a note to all the people who stood up for it. Without them, whom would we have to fight against for our basic civil rights?