Biden Moves to Pardon Military Personnel Punished for Homosexuality - Beyond Boders

Biden Moves to Pardon Military Personnel Punished for Homosexuality

US President Joe Biden announced on Wednesday that he will pardon military personnel who were convicted under a law that banned homosexuality in the armed forces for many years.

Biden stated, “Thousands of LGBTQI+ service members were forced out of the military because of their sexual 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.”

He added that this move is to ensure that the values of the Armed Forces reflect the principles that make the United States unique.

The law in question is Article 125 of the Code of Military Justice, which was in effect from 1951 until Congress abolished it in 2013. This law made consensual sodomy a crime punishable by court-martial.

A senior US official mentioned that thousands of people might be eligible for pardons. Those who are pardoned will also have their military records updated, potentially allowing them to receive benefits they were previously denied.

The US military banned homosexual personnel from serving openly until 1994 when the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy was implemented.

This policy allowed gay, lesbian, and bisexual service members to serve as long as they did not disclose their sexual orientation. It was repealed in 2011, allowing them to serve openly.

In September 2023, the Defense Department announced a review to identify veterans who received other-than-honorable discharges due to their sexual orientation, aiming to correct their records if necessary.


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