"Don't ask, don't tell" officially ends

U.S. military ban on openly gay service lifted

The U.S. military’s controversial ban on openly gay men and women serving their country was officially lifted Tuesday, ending the 18-year-old “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, introduced by the Clinton administration, which prevented many service members from being honest about their sexuality. “As of today,” said U.S. President Barack Obama, “patriotic Americans will no longer have to lie about who they are in order to serve the country they love.” While the ban officially ended on Tuesday, Pentagon spokesman George Little said that the army has been accepting applications from gay recruits for a number of weeks, and that 97 per cent of personnel had already received training on the new law. The Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Repeal Act was passed by Congress in December 2010, following testimony by top defence officials who said that allowing openly gay service members would not undermine military cohesion or effectiveness.

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