US approves withdrawal of "don't ask, don't tell" ban in military

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Washington, Dec 19 (ANI): The US Senate has reportedly approved a legislation allowing gay people to serve openly in the military.

According to the BBC, senators voted 65-31 to overturn the 1993 "don't ask, don't tell" law, which bars gays in the military from revealing their sexual orientation.

The Democrats, who still control both house of Congress, have said they want to approve the repeal before the start of a new Congress in January, the report said.

Now all it requires is President Barack Obama signature on it to make it a law, and Obama is reportedly eager to sign it.

"Once this legislation is signed into law by the president, the Department of Defense will immediately proceed with the planning necessary to carry out this change carefully and methodically, but purposefully," Defence secretary Robert Gates said.

Obama had promised during his 2008 White House campaign to lift the ban, ushering in perhaps the biggest sea change in the US military since racial integration began in 1948.

However, opponents argue that the change will damage troop morale at a time of war.

Over 13,000 service members have been dismissed under "don't ask, don't tell", enacted under President Bill Clinton. (ANI)

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