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'We are not a nation that says 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell.'"

Photo by Calvin Fleming via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr
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President Obama signed a bill today that makes the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy a thing of the past for gays in the military, according to the LA Times.

Obama said this was yet another step in a long string of civil rights struggles to bring about a unified nation.

He spoke to a crowd of 500 military leaders as well as members of Congress, gay rights advocates and service men and women and said upon signing, "We are not a nation that says 'don't ask, don't tell.' We are a nation that says out of many, we are one. We are a nation that welcomes the service of every patriot. We are a nation that believes all men and women are created equal.''

Though implementing the new policy will require several government and military agencies, Obama said legal teams for the Department of Defense and the Department of Justice are "not going to be dragging our feet."