This week U.S. Senator Patty Murray, a senior member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, led a letter to U.S. Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki calling for an expedited waiver process granting same-sex veterans and their spouses burial rights in national cemeteries.
Currently, only members of the opposite-sex are buried next to their veteran spouse in national cemeteries.
“For the LGBT members of our nation’s armed forces, and for those of us who support them, the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ was only the first step on the road towards equality,” said Senator Murray.
“Our country now must work to ensure each of our heroes receives the same quality care and services once they leave the military – and this includes a dignified burial for them, and their spouses. I was glad to see Secretary Shinseki honor the request of Lieutenant Colonel Campbell on behalf of her wife Nancy and am hopeful he will not only seriously consider similar requests in the future, but implement an expedited process so no veteran will have to face uncertainty when mourning the loss of their spouse.”
Senator Murray was joined by 15 Senators in sending the letter.