Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo signed it Friday at the State House. She officially signed it into effect as the legislative session ended in June.
The new law provides a petition process to have a discharge from service recorded as honorable for veterans who received a general or other than honorable discharge due solely to their sexual orientation. An honorable discharge is the only type that entails full benefits.
Democratic Rep. Camille Vella-Wilkinson, of Warwick, and Sen. Dawn Euer, of Newport, sponsored the bill.
While the state can't reinstate federal veterans' benefits, Vella-Wilkinson says it can take a "bold, compassionate step" to ensure state and local benefits are awarded.
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