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House Bill 1290

HB 1290 expands the state definition of honorable discharge to include veterans who were discharged due to sexuality or gender identity. Under the now defunct federal Don't Ask Don't Tell policy, gay, lesbian, and bisexual Americans were prohibited from serving in the armed forces. According to military data, over 13,000 enlisted members of the LGBTQ community were discharged while the policy was in effect.

The new legislation opens the door for impacted veterans to upgrade their service records to an honorable status under state law, entitling them to benefits like medical care and a military burial. Service members who received a bad conduct discharge or were dishonorably discharged due to reasons other than their sexuality or gender identity are not impacted by HB 1290.

HB 1290 is effective January 1, 2022. This bill passed both chambers of the legislature, has been signed by the Governor and is now Public Act - 102-0382.