President Obama is to sign a bill to repeal the ban on out gay troops in the US military today.

He will sign the bill during a ceremony at the Interior Department.

Although the Senate voted in favour of repealing the 1993 ban last weekend, a lengthy process must first be completed before gay soldiers can be open about their sexuality.

Military officials must consider and rewrite policies related to the issue over the next few weeks. Then, President Obama, Defence Secretary Robert Gates and Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen must certify that the ban can be lifted without damaging the military..

Following this certification, 60 days must pass before repeal officially takes place.

Gay troops have been warned not come out in the meantime, as the ban still applies for now.

However, those who were sacked under the law should be able to return to duty, providing that there were no other issues related to their dismissal.