Sep 20, 2011 1:49 PM by Kirsten Bennett
WASHINGTON (AP) - Senators who led the fight in Congress to end the ban on gays serving openly in the military are celebrating repeal of the nearly 18-year-old law, calling it an historic accomplishment.
A half-dozen lawmakers marked the occasion at a Capitol Hill news conference Tuesday. They were joined by three service members who could now say openly that they were gay.
Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin said the nation had passed another milestone toward a "more just and more tolerant society."
Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine read aloud from a postcard from a soldier in Afghanistan who thanked her for her courage in backing repeal.
Air Force 1st Lt. Josh Seefried of Colorado said he no longer has to fear losing a career that he loves.