19 Dec 2010

Ban on gays in US military overturned

2:24 pm on 19 December 2010

The US Senate has approved legislation allowing openly gay people to serve in the military.

Senators voted 65-31 on Saturday to overturn the 1993 "don't ask, don't tell" law, which bars gay people in the military from revealing their sexual orientation.

The House of Representatives has already approved the bill.

President Barack Obama is expected to sign it into law next week.

Opponents argue that the change will damage troop morale at a time of war.

The BBC reports more than 13,000 service members have been dismissed under "don't ask, don't tell", which was enacted under President Bill Clinton.

Earlier this month, a Pentagon report said that allowing openly gay troops would have little impact on the cohesion of US forces fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.