04212021CM0709SPRINGFIELD – To undo discrimination the LGBTQ+ community historically faced in the military, State Senator Tom Cullerton (D- Villa Park) has passed legislation that would allow veterans who received an “Other than Honorable” discharge for their sexuality or gender identity to begin receiving state veterans benefits.

“As a veteran, I understand how much these benefits from the state can help veterans. From housing to assistance with burial, state benefits play a large role in supporting our veterans,” Cullerton said. “For someone not to receive this assistance solely because of their sexual orientation or gender identity is outdated and unfair.”

Although the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy – which barred gay and lesbian military members from openly serving in the military – was repealed in 2011, people with OTH dischargers from years ago are still not able to receive state veterans benefits. According to a report from Harvard Law School, more than 100,000 service members were expelled from the military between World War II and 2011 for their actual or perceived sexual orientation.

House Bill 1290 would allow veterans whose discharge was solely based on their sexual orientation or gender identity to begin receiving state veterans benefits.

“Our veterans have given up so much for our country, and they have earned the right to receive the benefits that they have too long been denied,” Cullerton said. “No one should be discriminated against because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.”

The measure passed the Senate on Tuesday.  

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CONTACT SENATOR CULLERTON

Welcome to the official website of Senator Tom Cullerton. Please fill out our contact form to contact Senator Cullerton directly or you may call either of our offices. We look forward to hearing from you.

District Office
338 S. Ardmore Ave.
Villa Park, IL 60181
P: (630) 903-6662
F: (630) 903-6643

Springfield Office
122 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
P: (217) 782-9463