Biden To Pardon US Military Personnel Convicted Of Homos*xuality

US President Joe Biden declared Wednesday that he was “righting a historic wrong” by pardoning military veterans convicted under a statute that has prohibited homos*xuality in the armed forces for decades.

“Despite their courage and great sacrifice, thousands of LGBTQI+ service members were forced out of the military because of their s*xual orientation or gender identity. Some of these patriotic Americans were subject to court-martial, and have carried the burden of this great injustice for decades,” Biden said in a statement.

He stated that by making the gesture, he was “ensuring that the culture of our Armed Forces reflect the values that make us an exceptional nation.”

The ruling notably addresses Article 125 of the Code of Military Justice, which dates back to 1951 and was declared obsolete by Congress in 2013. It rendered sodomy between consenting adults a criminal offense punishable by court martial.

A top US official informed reporters that thousands of people may be eligible for pardons.

Along with the symbolism, anyone given mercy will be allowed to have their service paperwork updated, potentially making them eligible for benefits they were previously refused.

The United States prohibited homos*xuals from serving in the military until 1994, when the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy went into force.

That policy prohibited service members from being probed about their s*xual orientation, but it still compelled gay, lesbian, and bis*xual people to remain closeted in order to avoid dismissal from the military until its repeal in 2011.

In September 2023, the Defense Department announced that it would conduct a review to identify veterans who received non-honorable discharges as a result of their s*xual orientation, which can affect access to benefits and harm employment prospects, so that their records can be corrected if necessary.

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