Governor Newsom Signs Legislation to Support Veterans Harmed by Discriminatory ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Policy


Governor signs additional measures related to mental health, education and other support for veterans

SACRAMENTO – Governor Gavin Newsom announced today that he has signed legislation to help LGBTQ veterans released under Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT) update their records and access education , health, burial, and other benefits available to honorably discharged service members.

Although LGBTQ service members can serve openly after the repeal of the DADT, veterans less than honorably discharged under the policy face a cumbersome process that may require legal advice and other assistance to obtain a upgrading their release classification.

AB 325 by Assemblyman Jacqui Irwin (D-Thousand Oaks) establishes the Veterans Military Release Upgrade Grant Program to help fund service providers who will educate veterans on the process of release upgrade and will help eligible veterans apply.

Watch a video message from Governor Newsom on AB 325.

“While the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ ended a shameful injustice against LGBTQ Americans serving in our armed forces, its legacy continues to hang over the women and men unfairly ousted under the discriminatory policy,” Governor Newsom said. “With this legislation, the state will help these heroes navigate the process to correct the record and access the important benefits they deserve and have earned time and time again. I thank Assemblyman Irwin for advancing this measure to benefit our veterans and reinforce California’s commitment to equality.

Governor Newsom Signs AB 325 by Assemblyman Jacqui Irwin

A full list of measures Governor Newsom has signed to support veterans can be found here:

  • AB 305 by Assemblyman Brian Maienschein (D-San Diego) – Veterans Services: Notice.
  • AB 325 by Assemblyman Jacqui Irwin (D-Thousand Oaks) – Veterans: Dump Upgrades.
  • AB 738 by Assembly Member Janet Nguyen (R-Huntington Beach) – Community Mental Health Services: Mental Health Counseling.
  • AB 1715 by Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi (D-Torrance) – Space Force.
  • AB 1731 by Assembly Member Laurie Davies (R-Laguna Niguel) – Post-Secondary Education: Title 38 Awards: Post-Secondary Institutions: Application for Approval or Renewal.
  • AB 2119 by Assemblyman Heath Flora (R-Ripon) – Veterans: Medical Foster Home Program.
  • AB 2509 by Assemblyman Vince Fong (R-Bakersfield) – Vehicles: Vehicle Licensing Fees and Licensing Fees: Exemptions.
  • SB 837 by Sen. Thomas Umberg (D-Santa Ana) – Driver’s License: Veteran Designation.
  • SB 984 by Sen. Bob Archuleta (D-Pico Rivera) – Military Service: Leave of Absence: Pay and Benefits.
  • SB 1182 by Senator Susan Talamantes Eggman (D-Stockton) – Family Law.
  • SB 1237 by Sen. Josh Newman (D-Fullerton) – Licensing: Military Service.

Previously, the Governor signed:

  • AB 1633 by Assemblyman Kelly Seyarto (R-Murrieta) – Public Post-Secondary Education: Veterans’ Educational Benefits: Information Sharing.
  • AB 1762 by Assemblyman Devon Mathis (R-Porterville) – State Capitol: Gold Star Families Monument.
  • SB 949 by Sen. John Laird (D-Santa Cruz) – Veterans: California Central Coast State Veterans Cemetery.
  • SB 1041 by Sen. Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego) – Sales and Use Taxes: General Exemptions.
  • SB 1195 by Sen. Shannon Grove (R-Bakersfield) – Veterans Homes.

For the full text of the bills, visit:



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