Gillibrand calls to end discrimination against transgender veterans

New York State

WASHINGTON (WTEN) – Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand sent a letter to the Pentagon requesting actions to streamline and expedite the process for name change requests on military discharge documentation for transgender veterans.

“Individuals who are willing to put on the uniform of our country and risk their lives to defend our freedoms should be received with commendation, not prejudice. We must no longer permit harmful and discriminatory behavior against transgender service members,” Gillibrand said in a statement.

“Veterans who transition after leaving the service should be empowered to update their DD-214 with their correct legal name without delay or repercussions. I am urging swift implementation of these protections for name change requests so that every service member can obtain identification that aligns with their identity.”

Currently, the military services can take up to 18 months to update the name on the military discharge Form DD-214. The DD-214 is frequently requested by potential employers, government agencies, and others seeking to verify an individual’s record of military service. During this time, transgender veterans who have transitioned and legally changed their names may have to explain why their name on their discharge documentation does not match other identification, potentially subjecting them to discrimination and prejudice.

Sen. Gillibrand’s letter asks Secretary Austin to work with the military services to establish processes to ensure that these name change requests are processed within 90 days of the filing.

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