NEW YORK STATE (WROC) — The Restoration of Honor Act was signed into state law Tuesday.
The law gives LGBTQ veterans who were denied an honorable discharge because of their sexual orientation or gender identity the right to apply to have their New York State veterans’ benefits restored.
The bill also restores benefits eligibility for veterans who received less than honorable discharges as a result of military sexual trauma, traumatic brain injury or post-traumatic stress disorder.
“Countless service members were discharged from the military simply because of who they are. Adding insult to injury, they were then denied the services and benefits they earned as members of our armed forces who fought to protect our country and defend our ideals,” New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said. “With this measure we are righting that wrong and sending a message to LGBTQ veterans that we have their backs, just as they had ours.”
New York is the first state in the nation to restore the benefits of veterans who received less than honorable discharges either because of these traumas or sexual orientation.