Obama hailed the "courage and vision" of Defence Secretary Robert Gates and praised Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen, who advocated changing the 17-year-old policy. "No longer will tens of thousands of Americans in uniform be asked to live a lie, or look over their shoulder in order to serve the country that they love," Mr Obama said.
Obama Changes Gays in Military LawWritten by Staff Writer
A ruling that allows gay people to serve openly in the US military has been signed into law by President Barack Obama.
The previous ban on open service, more commonly known as "don’t ask, don’t tell", was implemented in the 1990s as a compromise measure, but grew increasingly unpopular as gays serving in the armed forces feared being dismissed if their sexuality became known.
The repeal of the ban was approved by the U.S. Senate over the weekend. It came after months of partisan debate on the measure.
Speaking in the Interior Department's auditorium, Mr Obama appeared in his element as shouts of "Thank you, Mr. President!" interrupted him.