BOSTON — Fulfilling legislation authored by state Sen. John Velis in the FY 2023 state budget, Gov. Maura Healey officially swore in members of the Veterans’ Equality Review Board (VERB) on Sept. 21 to ensure that LGBTQ veterans discharged under Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell can receive state veteran benefits.
“Twelve years after the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, I am grateful that this Senate initiative is being fulfilled by the administration and that this important Veterans’ Equality Review Board is now officially up and running,” said Velis, who chairs the Legislature’s Veterans Committee.
“For far too long, thousands of courageous individuals have been told that they are not worthy of the same benefits that their comrades and counterparts earned, that their service and their sacrifice is not worth the same because of who they are and who they love,” he went on. “My legislation, and the work of this board, is all about ensuring that LGBTQ veterans across the Commonwealth have the same access to benefits and services that other veterans have.”