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“Senate vote yesterday that will allow gay men and women to serve openly in the US military for the first time.”

Some of my critics seem to think that because I don’t support homosexual unions being called or considered a Marriage in  law means that I am in some sense unsympathetic to the desires of homosexuals to be accepted as fully functional members of society or that they should be able to live their lives unaffected by discrimination. Well I just want to say that I am very pleased indeed that the “Don’t ask  don’t tell” hypocrisy has been ended by a successful vote in the US Senate.

The bill to repeal 'don't ask, don't tell' went through easily, in spite of opposition from some senior Republlicans. Photograph: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Gay rights activists and liberals were celebrating after a surprise Senate vote yesterday that will allow gay men and women to serve openly in the US military for the first time.

Democrats, supported by eight Republicans and two independents, voted by a higher-than-expected 65 to 31 in favour of repeal of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, the messy compromise introduced during the Clinton years.

One of the main campaign groups, the Servicemembers Legal Defence Network, described reform as the “defining civil rights initiative of this decade”.

Opponents of the bill’s repeal, such as the socially conservative Family Research Council, described the vote as “a tragic day for our armed forces”.

Tony Perkins, the Family Research Council’s president, said: “The American military exists for only one purpose – to fight and win wars. It has now been hijacked and turned into a tool for imposing on the country a radical social agenda.”

The vote gives an unexpected end-of-year boost to Barack Obama, who campaigned in 2008 on a promise to repeal don’t ask, don’t tell, in which gay people could serve in the military as long as their sexual orientation remained secret.

This is a great day for equality and a recognition that those who serve their country and risk their lives in harms way all deserve our respect and support no matter what rocks their jocks .

Cheers Comrades

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