US gay activists celebrated the ending of the controversial “don’t ask don’t tell” in the US military last week. The law had meant gay men and women could only serve in the military if they kept their sexual orientation a secret.

The law was passed in 1993 under President Clinton after a fractious debate in which conservatives in Congress attempted to keep a total ban on gays serving in the military. If military officers were to admit to being homosexual, rx they would be expelled from the military.

Since 1993, viagra 13, patient 500 gay men were expelled from the military under this law, according to Serviceman’s Legal Defence Network. The repeal was welcomed as a historic landmark in terms of removing discrimination against homosexuals.

The repeal was criticized by the head of the Marine Corps, Commandant James Amos who said it could endanger the lives of soldiers by weakening discipline and unit cohesion. He said allowing gay men to serve could be a “distraction.”

This repeal comes during a rising conflict over the separation of church and state in New York. Rose Marie Belforti, the town clerk in the small town Ledyard has caused controversy by refusing to marry same-sex couples. Belforti stated that God has condemned homosexuality as a sin and thus believes it is against her religion to allow same-sex marriages.

She said “God doesn’t want me to do this, so I can’t do what God doesn’t want me to do, just like I can’t steal, or any of the other things that God doesn’t want me to do.” A Protestant and elected Republican, Belforti believes “this is about religious freedom. It is not about trashing gay people.”

The controversy erupted when lesbian couple, Deirdre DiBaggio and Kate Carmichael attempted to marry. They believe Belforti’s actions are discriminatory and are taking a lawsuit.

Robert Neilson