U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) issued the following statement regarding news that the U.S. Department of Defense has upgraded the discharge status of 91-year-old Norwalk veteran Ed Spires to “honorable.”
Mr. Spires was discharged from the U.S. Air Force in 1948 for being gay. After the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in 2010, Mr. Spires was finally eligible for an upgrade, but the Air Force denied his application. Mr. Spires reached out to Senator Blumenthal’s office seeking assistance. Senator Blumenthal connected Mr. Spires with Yale Law School’s legal clinic, which filed a lawsuit in November seeking to expedite Mr. Spires upgrade.
“I'm very gratified for Ed Spires and his spouse for this decision corrects an incredible injustice. I'm also hopeful and excited for others who were similarly unjustly discharged with less than honorable status simply because of their sexual orientation. I'll continue to fight for them,” Blumenthal said.