And another one falls!
A California judge has ruled that the portion of the U.S. Code governing veterans benefits is unconstitutional and unenforceable in its definition of marriage, which excludes same-sex couples.
The ruling will enable same-sex military couples to access benefits available to other married couples.
The article is available at http://www.buzzfeed.com/chrisgeidner/federal-judge-strikes-down-law-barring-same-sex-couples-from
Did you know that transgender people are twice as likely to be veterans as non-trans people?
A new report, based on the 2011 National Transgender Discrimination Survey, discusses the findings of 1,261 people who reported being both transgender or gender non-conforming and having served in the military at some point. This was 20% of the overall survey respondents, a figure that is twice the 10% military service rate of the overall U.S. population.
The findings include:
- Trans veterans were more likely than non-veterans to have lost a job (36%), not been hired (53%), and have experienced on-the-job harassment (54%), physical violence (9%) and sexual assault (8%) because of their gender identity or history.
- Trans veterans were more likely than non-veteran trans people to have been evicted from their home or apartment due to bias (14%) and to have experienced homelessness (18%).
- Nine percent of those who had served had been discharged because of being transgender or gender nonconforming.
The report, “Still Serving in Silence: Transgender Service Members in the National Transgender Discrimination Survey,” is available free at http://www.thetaskforce.org/downloads/reports/reports/still_serving_in_silence.pdf
Only one of the featured veterans is over 60 (70, to be specific), but advocates may still find of interest a recent OutFront article, “Home of the Brave: LGBT Veterans share their stories for Pride.”
Available at http://outfrontcolorado.com/ofcblog/news/home-of-the-brave-honoring-lgbt-veterans/, the simple but powerful article features black-and-white portraits and one-paragraph descriptions of five Colorado veterans. (It is important to note that the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell will not protect transgender veterans.)