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 supports for veterans

SACRAMENTO – Governor Gavin Newsom today announced that he has signed legislation to assist LGBTQ veterans discharged under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) in updating their records and accessing education, health, burial and other benefits available to honorably discharged service members.

Though LGBTQ service members could serve openly following the repeal of DADT, veterans discharged less than honorably under the policy face a burdensome process that can require legal counsel and other assistance to obtain an upgrade to their discharge classification.

AB 325 by Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin (D-Thousand Oaks) establishes the Veteran’s Military Discharge Upgrade Grant program to help fund service providers that will educate veterans about the discharge upgrade process and assist eligible veterans to 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 burden the women and men unfairly ousted under the discriminatory policy,” said Governor Newsom. “With this legislation, the state will help these heroes navigate the process to correct the record and access important benefits they deserve and have earned many times over. I thank Assemblymember Irwin for advancing this measure to do right by our veterans and further California’s commitment to equality.”

Governor Newsom signs AB 325 by Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin

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

  • AB 305 by Assemblymember Brian Maienschein (D-San Diego) –  Veteran services: notice.
  • AB 325 by Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin (D-Thousand Oaks) – Veterans: discharge upgrades.
  • AB 738 by Assemblymember Janet Nguyen (R-Huntington Beach) – Community mental health services: mental health boards.
  • AB 1715 by Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi (D-Torrance) – Space Force.
  • AB 1731 by Assemblymember Laurie Davies (R-Laguna Niguel) – Postsecondary education: Title 38 awards: postsecondary educational institutions: application for approval or renewal.
  • AB 2119 by Assemblymember Heath Flora (R-Ripon) –  Veterans: Medical Foster Home Program.
  • AB 2509 by Assemblymember Vince Fong (R-Bakersfield) – Vehicles: vehicle license fee and registration fees: exemptions.
  • SB 837 by Senator Thomas Umberg (D-Santa Ana) – Driver’s licenses: veteran designation.
  • SB 984 by Senator 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 Senator Josh Newman (D-Fullerton) – Licenses: military service.

 Previously, the Governor signed:

  • AB 1633 by Assemblymember Kelly Seyarto (R-Murrieta) – Public postsecondary education: veterans’ educational benefits: information sharing.
  • AB 1762 by Assemblymember Devon Mathis (R-Porterville) – State Capitol: Gold Star Families monument.
  • SB 949 by Senator John Laird (D-Santa Cruz) – Veterans: California Central Coast State Veterans Cemetery.
  • SB 1041 by Senator Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego) – Sales and use taxes: general exemptions.
  • SB 1195 by Senator Shannon Grove (R-Bakersfield) – Veterans homes.

For full text of the bills, visit: