US: House bill to include LGBT representatives on Veterans Committee
A House bill has been introduced that would introduce LGBT representatives on the National Veterans Advisory Committee.
The Democratic Representative from Washington, Suzan DelBene, introduced the Voice for Veterans Act to the US House of Representatives on Thursday.
If passed, the Act would reauthorize the Advisory Committee on Minority Veterans in the US Department of Veteran Affairs (VA), ensuring representation from LGBT veterans.
The Advisory Committee advises the Secretary of Veterans Affairs and Veterans Affairs Committees in Congress on VA programs and advises the VA on how it can better serve minority veterans.
HRC Legal Director Sarah Warbelow said: “Since the repeal of the discriminatory Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy, gay and lesbian service members have been able to serve proudly and openly.
“Yet, we know that there is still work to do to ensure full inclusion of all people who seek to serve their country, particularly transgender people.
“While we continue to work for full equality, this bill would take a critical step in ensuring that their voices are heard. Moreover, LGBT veterans have unique experiences and needs.”
Significantly, although banned from serving openly in the armed services, transgender veterans are included in the Voice for Veterans Act.