3 Feb 2010

Review of policy on gays in US military

9:17 am on 3 February 2010

The Defence Department in the United States is to review how to lift a ban on openly-homosexual people serving in the military.

The policy requires gays in the military to keep it a secret.

The Obama administration says the policy is harming military effectiveness by driving high-ranked gay personnel out of the armed forces.

Recent figures from the Pentagon show that 428 service members were dismissed for being openly gay in 2009, down from 619 dismissed in 2008.

The BBC reports the number is by far the lowest since 1997, when 997 service members were dismissed.

Overall, more than 10,900 troops have been dismissed under the policy.