Congresswomen Jackie Speier (D-San Francisco/San Mateo) has introduced legislation that would “restore owed separation pay to military service members discharged under the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy,” her office announced Thursday (June 26). Speier’s proposal is known as the Military Separation Fairness Act.
From 1993 to 2010, approximately 14,000 military service members were discharged under DADT, and most only received half their separation pay, according to Speier. DADT, which banned gays from serving openly in the military, was repealed in 2010.
“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 stated. “My bill will require that the rest of these DADT service members who served for six or more years receive the difference between their original payment and full separation pay plus interest within 90 days. First, we unjustly kicked them out of the military and then they received just half of their separation pay. It’s deplorable that this discrimination has been allowed to continue.”
Speier’s proposal has 28 co-sponsors in the House. Backers include the Human Rights Campaign, the American Civil Liberties Union, OutServe/Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, and the American Military Partners Association, according to Speier.