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Tags: senate | apology | lgbtq | federal employee | discriminate

Senate Seeks Apology for LGBTQ Federal Employee Discrimination

By    |   Wednesday, 19 June 2024 08:06 PM EDT

Senate Democrats, including Sens. Tim Kaine and Tammy Baldwin, have introduced a resolution aiming to address past injustices faced by LGBTQ individuals working in the federal government, spanning back to 1949, reported The Hill.

The resolution reflects a broader effort to acknowledge historical discrimination and promote equality.

The resolution, spearheaded by Kaine, D-Va., and Baldwin, D-Wis., with support from 18 Democratic co-sponsors, highlights the mistreatment endured by LGBTQ civil servants, foreign service officers, and military members over decades.

Kaine emphasized the need to rectify past wrongs and promote LGBTQ rights nationally, recognizing the significant "contributions" made by LGBTQ individuals to the country's "security" and development.

"Our government has subjected them to decades of harassment, invasive investigations, and wrongful termination because of who they are or who they love," he said.

Dating back to the "Lavender Scare" in the late 1950s and '60s, LGBTQ individuals faced harassment, invasive investigations, and unjust dismissals due to their sexual orientation or gender identity. The resolution references explicitly the estimated 100,000 LGBTQ service members discharged from the military from World War II to 2011, with many others compelled to conceal their identities out of fear while serving.

Acknowledging past discriminatory policies such as "Don't ask, don't tell," repealed in 2011, Kaine's resolution seeks to address the lingering consequences faced by LGBTQ veterans with dishonorable discharges. Despite progress in recognizing the discriminatory history of such policies, LGBTQ veterans are still required to prove their experiences of discrimination to correct their records individually.

The resolution also responds to recent amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act criticized for potentially targeting LGBTQ service members, particularly transgender individuals. Baldwin, the first openly LGBTQ senator elected in 2012, underscored the importance of creating an inclusive and equitable environment for all individuals serving the country.

"Anyone who serves our country, whether they are in uniform or a civil servant, deserves to be treated with respect, fairness, and dignity, regardless of who they are or who they love," she added. "I am proud to lead this effort to show our commitment to creating a more accepting, equal country that lives up to our nation’s ideals."

Jim Thomas

Jim Thomas is a writer based in Indiana. He holds a bachelor's degree in Political Science, a law degree from U.I.C. Law School, and has practiced law for more than 20 years.

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Senate Democrats, including Sens. Tim Kaine and Tammy Baldwin, have introduced a resolution aiming to address past injustices faced by LGBTQ individuals working in the federal government, spanning back to 1949, reported The Hill.
senate, apology, lgbtq, federal employee, discriminate
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2024-06-19
Wednesday, 19 June 2024 08:06 PM
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