Hot off the press from former State Senator Lou Correa, a candidate for Congress in CD-46. Correa tells TheLiberalOC that this bill would be among the first he offers should he be fortunate enough to be elected to Congress. With this move, Correa has outflanked his remaining progressive opponents with a pro-LGBTQ/pro-Veteran position just as the race for Congress starts to heat up.
Correa tells TheLiberalOC, “Throughout my career I have stood up for ALL veterans by fighting to ensure that the brave men and women who fought for our freedoms are taken care of here at home. The numbers are astounding. Since WWII, over 100,000 gay and lesbian servicemembers have been dishonorably discharged because of their sexual orientation. While the damage cannot be undone, reversing their records to reflect the honorable discharge they deserve is long overdue. That is why I am making veterans affairs and reversing these dishonorable discharges a top priority in Congress.”
Here’s the announcement:
CORREA ANNOUNCES PLANS TO REVERSE DISHONORABLE DISCHARGE OF GAY VETERANS UNDER DON’T ASK DON’T TELL
Former Senator Lou Correa Prioritizes Making Amends to Openly Gay Servicemembers Who Were Dishonorably Discharged Under Don’t Ask Don’t Tell
Santa Ana, CA—Today, Congressional candidate and former California Senator Lou Correa unveiled that one of his top priorities if elected to Congress is to introduce a policy that reverses the dishonorable discharge of openly gay servicemembers under Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. Upon announcing his plan to reverse and remove these dishonorable discharges, former State Senator Lou Correa released the following statement:
“This is long overdue. We as a nation have wronged over 100,000 individuals in the US military who were dishonorably discharged because of their sexual orientation and it is time we make it right. While the damage done to these brave men and women cannot be undone, their records can still be reversed to reflect the honorable discharge they earned. By doing so we are finally giving these wronged veterans the legal, health, and employment benefits they deserve.
“While those servicemembers who were dishonorably discharged under Don’t Ask Don’t Tell can currently get their records changed on a case-by-case basis, this is not enough. We need to take mass action to reverse the 14,000 dishonorable discharges under Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and the 100,000 dishonorable discharges dating back to WWII. America is the land of freedom and opportunity I intend to rightfully honor the openly gay and lesbian men and women who fought for these ideals.
“I have a strong track record in ensuring that the brave men and women who fought for our freedoms are taken care of here at home and that means standing up for all veterans. They sacrificed time away from their families and their personal safety to make our country great and deserve to live a comfortable middle class life with access to the health care and services they need.”
Throughout his career Lou Correa has been a strong advocate for well-being of our veterans. In 2006, Senator Correa was appointed to the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs and later served as committee chair from 2010 to 2013. During his tenure, he championed legislation to expand healthcare, jobs, and educational opportunities for veterans and members of the military, arguing that California can and must do better. Some of his landmark legislation protecting our nation’s veterans includes Promoting Housing for Veterans, Providing Education Accommodations for Military Service, Reducing Veteran Homelessness, and Restoring County Veterans Service Office (CVSO) Funding.
In recognition of his efforts in support of veterans, Senator Correa received the following awards and commendations:
- Legislator of the Year 2008, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Department of California
- Legislator of the Year 2009, American Legion, Department of California
- Legislator of the Year 2010, California Association of County Veteran Service Officers, Inc.
- Legislator of the Year 2010, Vietnam Veterans of America, California State Council
- Legislator of the Year 2011, American Veterans (AMVETS) of California
Lou previously served on the California State Assembly for three terms. Lou then served two years on the Orange County Board of Supervisors, representing the 1st District. Following that, Lou was elected to the California State Senate, representing the 34th District, in 2006 and again in 2010 serving the cities of Anaheim, Buena Park, Fullerton, Garden Grove, Santa Ana, Stanton and Westminster. Lou Correa lives in Santa Ana with his wife of 25 years, and their four children. Correa was named “Father of the Year” by the American Diabetes Association of Orange County, and he is a member of Christ Cathedral Catholic Church.