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Gov. Murphy signs legislation to assist LGBTQ+ veterans

NEW JERSEY – Governor Phil Murphy Monday signed S2815, which directs the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans’ Affairs (DMAVA) to assist former Armed Forces service members who were denied an honorable discharge due to their sexual orientation or gender identity.

DMAVA will assist veterans with completing and submitting the appropriate forms to petition the United States Department of Veterans Affairs to change their discharge designation to instead reflect an honorable discharge. DMAVA will also be tasked with creating, publishing, and distributing material to all public agencies regarding the availability of the assistance, as well as creating a uniform and consistent process for providing such assistance.

“Our LGBTQ+ servicemembers made countless sacrifices to serve this nation, yet were discharged and denied the services and benefits they deserved simply because of who they were and whom they loved,” Murphy said. “With today’s bill signing, we are streamling the process to provide direct assistance to these brave men and women in their efforts to revise their discharge status and attain the benefits they earned and deserve for their service.”

Nearly 100,000 LGBTQ+ servicemembers were denied honorable discharge prior to the repeal of the discriminatory “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. As a result, these servicemembers are ineligible for both state and federal veterans’ benefits. Under this legislation, former servicemembers who have the designation of their discharge changed will be eligible for the same rights, privileges, and benefits that are offered to servicemembers who were honorably discharged.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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