Transgender U.S. Navy SEAL, Kristin Beck, to be honored. The nation’s first openly gay U.S. Navy SEAL, Brett Jones, to be featured speaker. Representative Dina Titus To Be Honored
Monday, American Military Partner Association (AMPA), the nation’s largest organization of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender military spouses and their families, announced that Representative Dina Titus (D-NV) will be honored at the 2nd Annual AMPA National Gala – the nation’s biggest LGBT military event of the year – Saturday, May 9, at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill.
“Rep. Titus has been an unwavering champion for all of our nation’s service members, veterans, and their families,” said AMPA President Ashley Broadway-Mack. “By fighting to end the injustice our LGBT military families continue to face trying to access their earned federal veterans benefits, she has shown true leadership and an incredible commitment to fairness and equality. We are proud to recognize her this year with the AMPA Congressional Leadership Award.”
As Ranking Member of the House Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs, Rep. Titus continues to work to ensure all military families have equal access to the benefits they earned serving our country. Even after the Supreme Court decision struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and effectively extended federal benefits to all legally married couples, including those under the Department of Defense, veterans with same-sex spouses continue to face obstacles when accessing the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits to which they are entitled. This is due to outdated federal laws governing VA benefits, which bar access to benefits for same-sex couples who reside in a state that does not recognize their marriage. Rep. Titus introduced the bipartisan Veteran Spouses Equal Treatment Act which would align the VA laws with other federal agencies ensuring access to federal VA benefits for thousands of deserving military spouses. These benefits include surviving spouse benefits, dependency benefits and home loans.
As previously announced, Kristin Beck, a retired transgender U.S. Navy SEAL who’s story captivated the nation when she was interviewed by CNN’s Anderson Cooper, will be honored. Brett Jones, the nation’s first openly gay U.S. Navy SEAL, will be a featured speaker at the event.
The 2nd Annual AMPA National Gala is expected to draw up to 400 LGBT service members, military spouses, veterans, and allies from across the country. The event is sponsored by nearly every major military family support organization, including the Military Officers Association of America, the National Military Family Association, Blue Star Families, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, and more.
For more information about the American Military Partner Association and LGBT military families, please visit the organization’s website: MilitaryPartners.org.