(CNSNews.com) - Nine months after President Barack Obama signed a bill repealing the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy that said homosexuals could not openly serve in the U.S. military, the “gay ban” ended Tuesday at one minute after midnight.
The first celebration took place in Vermont, where Navy Lt. Gary Ross and his civilian partner Dan Swezy were married. Ross wore his dress uniform for the double-ring ceremony, which took place at midnight -- the same moment the military’s new policy took effect.
There was no official announcement about the end of DADT on the Defense Department’s Web site early Tuesday morning, nor did the White House Web site make any mention of the fact that soldiers no longer have to conceal their homosexuality.
Those who oppose the shift in policy include Elaine Donnelly, the founder and president of the Center for Military Readiness, an independent public policy organization that specializes in military personnel issues.
Donnelly told CNN that allowing gays and lesbians to serve will drive many loyal troops out of the military.
"Due to the president's political promises, the military faces heavy burdens of confusion and tension that could have been avoided," Donnelly told CNN. "This is nothing for the administration to be proud of."