Bill would give separation pay to service members discharged under DADT

Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) has introduced a bill that would provide military service members who were discharged under the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy with separation pay.

The Pentagon maintained its Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT) policy regarding gays serving in the military from 1993 to 2010. About 14,000 service members were discharged due to DADT during that time period.

Speier said the service members forced out of the military due to their sexual orientation should receive full separation pay, instead of only half.

"Thousands and thousands of men and women were discharged from the military under a discriminatory directive that stipulated homosexual service members receive only one half of the separation pay they rightfully earned," Speier said in a statement. "It’s deplorable that this discrimination has been allowed to continue."

Speier's bill would order the military to provide the difference between the original discharge payment and full separation pay plus interest to DADT-affected service members who served for at least six years.

The American Civil Liberties Union, Human Rights Campaign and the American Military Partners Association have all endorsed the measure.

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