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What Do You Think of the End of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'?

Gays in the military no longer have to disguise their identity.

Almost two decades after the military policy that bans homosexuals from openly serving in the armed forces went into effect, "don't ask, don't tell" become a thing of the past Tuesday.

So, Novato, what do you think of that? Tell us by adding a comment at the bottom of this story.

The 18-year ban on openly gay troops was officially repealed at midnight. The change was set in motion in December, when President Obama signed the Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act, which he said would enhance the quality of the military.

"As of today, patriotic Americans in uniform will no longer have to lie about who they are in order to serve the country they love," Obama said in a statement Tuesday morning.

Tuesday afternoon in San Francisco, gay and lesbian military veterans gathered to celebrate the repeal along with Mayor Ed Lee and other current and former elected officials including state Sen. Mark Leno and Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, who are both openly gay.

A party was scheduled from 5:30-9:30 p.m. at the LGBT Community Center at 1800 Market St. in San Francisco. Separately, another group was to gather in San Francisco's Castro District to call for full equality for LGBT service members. The demonstration, set to begin at Harvey Milk Plaza at 6:30 p.m., aims to highlight what organizers say is a need for a non-discrimination policy and transgender protections for service members.

"History has taught us that separate is not equal," GetEQUAL organizer Dennis Veite said in a statement. "While DADT is gone, we will fight on."

Kate Kendell, executive director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, said that although there is more work to be done to ensure full equality, the end of the ban should be hailed.

"Today is not just the end of 'don't ask, don't tell,' it is the beginning of a new era in which government policies that discriminate based on sexual orientation and gender identity are rightly seen as shameful and outmoded," Kendell said in a statement.

Before the repeal could go into effect, Obama, the Secretary of Defense and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff had to certify that ending the policy would not hinder the troops.

— Bay City News Service

Stu Harrison September 21, 2011 at 03:36 AM
78% of Americans agree this law should have been repealed. Is there any other topic on which 78% of Americans agree?!? So my question is, why on earth are you doing an online, unscientific poll? Hey, I have a suggestion for your next one: Are you glad Tide washes whiter?
Lynne Wasley September 21, 2011 at 01:52 PM
Regardless of the fact that the majority support the repeal of DADT, I'm so pleased to see this article on Patch. Something positive - something wonderful! Here's to love!
Janna Barkin September 21, 2011 at 01:58 PM
I say Finally! Now lets work on getting them the same benefits for their families that straight members of the military receive.
hope herndon September 21, 2011 at 07:44 PM
It is about time. Do people realize that they dismissed 11 or 12 men who spoke Arabic from the Monterey language school for being gay. How stupid was that? We needed these men and this was about 5 years ago. I never was so disgusted with our military mind set as then.
Kozette Rushton September 22, 2011 at 03:38 PM
It's about time. What took so long. DADT was a crazy way to address an issue or should I say not address an issue.

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