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Mass. Senate Passes Bill Benefiting Victims of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'

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Don’t ask, don’t tell" was the policy of the U.S military from February 28, 1994, through September 20, 2011. The policy prevented the military from asking service members about their sexual identity, but also prevent service members from disclosing their LGBTQ+ identity.

Service members could still be discharged for their sexual identity, including those who disclosed it on their own. While the policy was a step forward, it was not a complete acceptance of LGBTQ+ service members and did not eliminate discrimination.On the 10th anniversary of its repeal, Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the U.S.

House of Representatives, said in a statement the repeal “strengthened our national security and reaffirmed the bedrock principle that those willing and able to serve and be treated with dignity and respect, regardless of who they are or whom they love.”Velis echoed those sentiments in his statement announcing the passage of his amendment.“The years of trauma, abuse, and harassment caused by 'don't ask, don't tell' cannot be undone,” Velis said, referencing the failures of the policy. “But we must do everything in our power to ensure that LGBTQ Veterans across the Commonwealth have the same access to benefits and services that other Veterans have.”“LGBTQ Veterans that were discharged under the now-defunct, 'don't ask, don't tell policy,' served their country proudly and are every bit as entitled to state Veteran benefits as any other service member.

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