US President Barack Obama has called on the US Senate to pass legislation allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military following the release of a report backing a change in policy by the Department of Defence.

The nine month Pentagon study found that seventy percent of armed forces personnel did not believe a change in the policy would effect unit cohesion.

“With our nation at war and so many Americans serving on the front lines, our troops and their families deserve the certainty that can only come when an act of Congress ends this discriminatory policy once and for all,” said Obama.

“The House of Representatives has already passed the necessary legislation … I call on the Senate to act as soon as possible so I can sign this repeal into law this year and ensure that Americans who are willing to risk their lives for their country are treated fairly and equally.”

Democratic Senate Majority leader Harry Reid has vowed to hold a vote on the bill this month.

Four Republican Senators have already declared their support for ending the policy, however a small number of Democrats may oppose the bill so the outcome remains uncertain.

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