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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced this week that LGBTQ veterans who were denied honorable discharges due to their sexual orientation can now apply to have their state veterans’ benefits restored.

“Restoring state benefits to LGBTQ veterans who were denied honorable discharge simply for being who they are is the right thing to do and an appropriate way to show our appreciation for their service to this country,” Cuomo said in a statement Sunday.

Cuomo signed the Restoration of Honor Act last November to grant benefits to veterans who received “less than honorable discharges” for things such as traumatic brain injuries, PSTD, military sexual trauma or due to “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

“If you’re an LGBTQ veteran who was discharged from the military because of your sexual orientation or gender identity, you can now receive the veterans benefits you earned by serving our country,” tweeted state Sen. Brad Hoylman, who sponsored the legislation.

It applies to benefits from the New York State Division of Veterans’ Services. It does not affect the official character of discharge on an individual’s discharge paperwork.

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“Countless service members were discharged from the military simply because of who they are,” Cuomo said after signing the bill into law. “Adding insult to injury, they were then denied the services and benefits they earned as members of our armed forces who fought to protect our country and defend our ideals. With this measure, we are righting that wrong and sending a message to LGBTQ veterans that we have their backs, just as they had ours.”

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Veterans are required to fill out the state’s Restoration of Honor Act application and provide their official military personnel file, along with a personal statement explaining why their character of service was unjust. If applicable, they must also provide an award letter from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) verifying a service-related disability.

The past weekend marked the 50th anniversary of the first Pride march in New York City, according to the governor’s office.

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Twitter Bans Sanity Checks: Company Announces Plan to Make Code More Politically Correct

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Twitter is planning to make its coding language more politically correct, the company said in a statement, a move that will include the elimination of “blacklists” and “sanity checks.”

“Inclusive language plays a critical role in fostering an environment where everyone belongs,” the website said in a message posted on the platform. “At Twitter, the language we have been using in our code does not reflect our values as a company or represent the people we serve. We want to change that.”

“We’re starting with a set of words we want to move away from using in favor of more inclusive language,” the statement added. Twitter said the words it intends to change include replacing “whitelist” with “allowlist,” “blacklist” with “denylist,” and “master/slave” with “leader/follower.” Others include switching “grandfathered” out in favor of “legacy status,” “gendered pronouns” such as “guys” with “folks,” “people,” or “you all,” and “sanity check” with “quick check” or “confidence check.”

Twitter said it was putting a significant amount of effort into snuffing out the language by “migrating source code and changing configuration by going through our existing code, IDing violating terms with new warning tools, and changing to the new inclusive terminology. Automated tools and linters are being developed in order to minimize manual effort for developers.”

The company said the changes were being applied to language in “Google Docs, runbooks, FAQS, readmes, technical design docs, and more” on the website’s backend, where content is generally invisible to the website’s public users. Twitter wasn’t clear on whether it would prohibit users from using the language on their own accounts in the future, but indicated its own employees would be banned using it.

“This isn’t just about … terms or code,” the company added. “Words matter in our meetings, our conversations, and the documents we write. We know there’s still a lot of work to do, but we’re committed to doing our part. #UntilWeAllBelong.”

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