America is awaiting the presidential signing of the bill repealing the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy.
The bill will be passed this week to President Barack Obama who has already confirmed that he will sign it into law, saying: “It is time to close this chapter in our history. It is time to recognise that sacrifice, valour and integrity are no more defined by sexual orientation than they are by race or gender, religion or creed.
“It is time to allow gay and lesbian Americans to serve their country openly.”
The Senate passed the motion on Saturday 65-31 in favour of removing the restrictions on gays serving in the military. Numerous celebrities have responded positively to the vote.
Lady Gaga, who has been a vocal opponent of the ban, posted her reaction on Twitter, writing: “Can’t hold back the tears + pride. We did it!! Our voice was heard + today the Senate REPEALED DADT. A triumph for equality after 17 YEARS.”
Ellen DeGeneres also added her thoughts on the social networking site, saying: “Thank you Senators for pushing us one step closer towards full equality.”
Musician Katy Perry agreed with P!nk, stating: “SUPPORTING ALL OUR TROOPS! RT @Pink: Congrats 2 US!!! REPEAL of DADT & 17 years of allowing Human Rights Violations. There’s hope after all.”
Openly gay actor Neil Patrick Harris wrote: “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell REPEALED! So proud of Congress for making the right decision. Now all soldiers can serve with integrity. A great day.”
Cyndi Lauper said: “Historic day. ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ repealed. It’s about time. Step by step we’re headed towards full equality.”
The repeal will take effect after a 60-day period to allow the US Defense Department to consider how best to implement the new policy.