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May 27, 2012 12:55 PM by Matt Stafford

Gay students graduate openly at military academies

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - For the first time, gay students at the nation's major military academies have been able to openly participate in major school events, now that "don't ask, don't tell" has been repealed.

U.S. Naval Academy students were able to openly take a same-sex date to the academy's Ring Dance. The U.S. Air Force Academy officially recognized a club for gay students this month. Gay cadets at the U.S. Military Academy are relieved they no longer have to worry about revealing their sexuality.

Students and gay alumni also say the repeal is creating professional benefits by opening doors to mentorship possibilities with senior military personnel that were harder for students to know about previously.

The "don't ask, don't tell" policy was repealed in September.

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