The US Defence Secretary, Leon Panetta, said today that the repeal of the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ (DADT) policy, which prohibited openly gay personnel from serving in the military, has not affected military morale or readiness.

His announcement is based on a new internal Pentagon report into the issue, about which he spoke to journalists today.

DADT was put in place by the Clinton administration, and it took 18 years before it was officially repealed by the Obama administration last year.

Some had expressed concerns that the ban might affect military discipline and morale. But, Mr Panetta said today that the repeal was not “impacting morale, or impacting unit cohesion or readiness.”

However, he refused to give an opinion on whether he supported equal marriages, just a day after the President said he personally supported the right of gay couples to get married. He merely affirmed that the repeal of DADT was going “very well.”