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Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

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Biden administration rewards shunned LGBTQ heroes with benefits

Staff Sgt. Katie Grandori
Soldiers of the 79th Infantry Division Combat Team participated in the San Diego Pride Parade. Attendance of the pride parade including 79th IBCT Soldiers and other service members signed the California National Guard’s banner on July 13, 2019. Photo credit: California National Guard

The Department of Veteran Affair’s decision to grant full benefits to LGBTQ veterans and service members, which was announced on Sept. 27, is not only a cause for celebration but also an opportunity for everyone to encourage similar rulings to prevent future discrimination in the workplace.

Coincidentally, this policy arrives in close proximity with the day on which former President Bill Clinton’s infamous “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law was repealed by Obama on Sept. 20, 2021.

However, according to President Biden, his actions still left at least 100,000 individuals, discharged because of sexual orientation or gender identity and to boot, without the same care that cishet members received.

H.R. 5170, otherwise known as the SERVE Act, seeks to amend for the damage inflicted by the Clinton Administration and as mentioned, thwart potential demonstrations of discrimination.

Of course, those dishonorably discharged or with criminal records will not be able to enjoy the benefits of SERVE. Rather, only upstanding citizens retain the authority to ask for these benefits.

Additionally, as assistant secretary Kayla Williams affirmed, affected persons can also request a discharge upgrade, which until now, had been perceived by LGBT veterans as a convoluted process that could take years to complete.

Usually, the reason for an other-than-honorable discharge is because of a superior’s bias overtaking their analysis of a soldier’s overall ability to perform or conduct themselves in the appropriate manner.

In a word, it has been the actions of prejudiced figures of authority that have denied citizens—for some, maybe even relatives—from being able to successfully recover from the physical trauma and emotional scars enacted by a decades-long war in a foreign nation away from family and loved ones.

That being said, collaboration amongst one another lends a degree of possibility to removing monstrous items from the U.S. like conversion camps and more so by suggesting such to a state representative.

Regardless if an assemblage of well-meaning individuals does not play a serious hand in today’s politics, it will at the very least, give politicians something to think on.

It is paramount for the denizens of the U.S. to consider acts like SERVE, because realistically speaking, change is a ruthless force of nature that can make this nation as insignificant as the ruins of Rome.

Only by maintaining an open-minded stature can a nation succeed.

Pushing forth mindsets that allow individuals of every race, religion, sex, gender and sexual orientation etc. is a step closer to coexistence-which is something America should work on.

History itself is riddled with empires brought down by refusal and stubbornness. Take isolationist Japan in the 1850s, when Commodore Matthew Perry threatened to bring down cannonballs onto the shores of an island nation that was essentially two centuries behind everyone else.

Aside from societal collapse, it is also equally important to uphold standards of morality that if absent, will make a nation’s decisions and in turn, significance matter at all.

The LGBTQ community is worth just as much as any other veteran and it shouldn’t be a debate whether or not to grant them benefits.

Anyone who serves our country, regardless of their identity, should get the good treatment they deserve.

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About the Contributors
Matthew Espinosa, Staff Writer
Matthew Espinosa is a staff writer for Talon Marks. His major is Journalism. He enjoys playing Halo and reading science fiction in his downtime. He's unclear as to where he will transfer after Cerritos.
Gustavo Olivares-Molina, Staff Writer
Gustavo Olivares-Molina is the Community Editor for the Cerritos College  Talon Marks. He enjoys solitude in the Angeles National Forest, but also listening to the stories, voices, and opinions of people in the greater Los Angeles region. He produces and co hosts “Lovecrow Ink Nest”, an independent podcast dealing with topics on the tattoo industry.
Fatima Durrani, Opinion Editor
Fatima Durrani is the Opinion Editor & c0-online editor for Talon Marks. She is a Journalism major for Pre-law, and this is her last semester at Talon Mark before she transfers to a university. In addition to reporting, Fatima enjoys singing, editing photos, creating short films and reading poetry.
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Biden administration rewards shunned LGBTQ heroes with benefits