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Uruguay Lifts Ban On Gays In The Military

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MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay — Uruguay has lifted a ban on homosexuals joining the armed forces.

The decree signed by President Tabare Vazquez and Defense Minister Jose Bayardi lifts the ban imposed by the 1973-85 military dictatorship.

The decree was published Friday on the presidential Web site and states that sexual orientation will no longer be considered a reason to prevent people from entering the military.

Vazquez said the "state does not discriminate against citizens for their political view or for their sexual choice" during a visit Thursday to the Paraguayan capital of Asuncion.

The law had included homosexuality among the "mental illnesses and disorders" that make a person unsuitable to join the armed forces.