President Barack Obama today signed a law allowing homosexuals to serve openly in the military, repealing the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy in a sweeping and historic shift for the U.S. armed forces.
"This morning, I am proud to sign a law that will bring and end to 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,'" Obama announced. "This law I am about to sign will strengthen our national security and uphold the ideals that our founding men and women risked their lives to defend."
The U.S. Senate on Saturday voted 65-31 to end the 17-year-old "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," policy.
The U.S. House of Representatives passed the bill earlier last week as lawmakers pushed to complete their work before the new Congress is seated in January.
The ban was implemented in the 1990s as a compromise measure, but grew increasingly unpopular as homosexuals serving in the armed forces feared being dismissed if their sexuality became known.
compiled from agency reports