President Barack Obama is ready to sign a landmark law that tells America's armed services to let homosexuals serve openly for the first time.
Obama's signature will fulfill a campaign pledge, cheer his party's liberals and strike a blow for what he sees as basic human rights.
So many gay rights and Democratic activists are expected at
Wednesday's signing ceremony that the White House booked an
auditorium at the Interior Department.
Pentagon officials caution that activists' elation over the bill could be premature, since service chiefs have to complete implementation plans before lifting the old policy.
They also have to certify that it won't damage combat readiness, as critics charge, and draft guidelines to cover a host of practical questions, like how to handle sexual orientation in making barracks
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