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Active Duty Gays Say Coming Out Has Been Non-Event

Monday Oct 17, 2011

Service members attending the first-ever convention for gay military personnel say they have received nothing but support or shrugs since coming out at work.

Nearly four weeks after the U.S. lifted its ban on gays serving openly in the armed forces, 200 members of a group known as OutServe are attending the conference in Las Vegas.

They say they are relieved they no longer have to hide, but they are determined to make sure they are viewed as sailors, soldiers, airmen and Marines first, gay second.

Michelle Benecke is a former Army battery commander who left the military before "don't ask, don't tell" was enacted. He says gay Americans serving their country with pride are "the right-wing's biggest fear" because they counter stereotypes that gay men and lesbians are selfish.

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