Washington – The Senate passed a bill Saturday which will allow men and women in the gay community to come out as active duty service members.  The vote ends a policy dating back to the Clinton Administration which prohibited the gay and

"There have always been guys in the neighborhood where everybody just knew they were in the military. As long as they don't make a big deal out of it, nobody really cares."

lesbian community from questioning a gay man or lesbian’s military status.  Critics have held that the policy forced soldiers, seamen, and Marines to  hide their true identities, sending a message that certain lifestyles just weren’t normal or acceptable.

The Bill is being called “The Cabot Bill” after Army CPL Joseph Cabot, who was discharged from the Castro neighborhood of San Fransisco in 2001 when a roommate caught him engaged in nonsexual physical training with his drill instructor.  Cabot’s book Deadly but Silent raised awareness of the numbers of valuable community members who had been lost.  “We can’t afford to lose some our best men and women to this discriminatory practice, especially at a time when we’re fighting two wars,” Cabot said Saturday.  “I mean, of course, the hair dresser wars and the female hardware store employee wars.  We need all the stereotypical men and women we can keep if we’re ever going to win on those fronts.”