U.S. Senate panel, House repeal military gay ban

21:39, May 28, 2010      

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The U.S. House and a Senate committee Thursday approved amendments to a military bill that repeals the "don't ask, don't tell" policy that bans openly gay men and women serving in the U.S. military, CNN reported Friday.

The Senate Armed Services Committee voted 16-12 to approve compromise language on the repeal in an amendment to the military policy bill, and then voted 18-10 to send the bill to the full Senate, said the network.

The House of Representatives voted 234-194 to approve the amendment

The amendment aims at ending the Clinton-era "don't ask, don't tell" policy that allows homosexuals to serve in secret but expels them if their sexual orientation becomes known.

A final vote on the full bill was expected Friday.

"I am pleased that both the House of Representatives and the Senate Armed Services Committee took important bipartisan steps toward repeal tonight," U.S. President Barack Obama said in a statement.

"This legislation will help make our Armed Forces even stronger and more inclusive by allowing gay and lesbian soldiers to serve honestly and with integrity," he added.

Even if Congress gives final approval to such bill, repeal would also require certification from Obama, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, that the new law would not have a negative impact on readiness, unit cohesion, recruitment and troop retention.

The Pentagon also needs to complete a review on how to implement the repeal, due by December 1.

Source: Xinhua/Agencies

(Editor:王寒露)

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