>US campaigners have been celebrating as the Senate voted to get rid of its military’s discriminatory ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ (DADT) policy.
After 17 years of this discriminatory legislation, which came into being as a compromise under the Bill Clinton administration, the policy which ended the military careers of an estimated 13,000 women and men is finally on its way out. The policy specified that lesbians and gays could serve in the forces as long as they kept quiet about it and no-one had the right to ask anyone about her/his sexuality. Opponents said it wrote discrimination into military law.
Defence Secretary Robert Gates supported the repeal but warned serving members of the US forces not to come out until the new legislation was in place, which may take up to a year. President Obama welcomed the decision.