A Republican US senator, known for posing nude in Cosmopolitan magazine, has announced his support for repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”.

Sen. Scott Brown from Massachusetts, who is also a decorated military veteran, said: “I have been in the military for 31 years and counting, and have served as a subordinate and as an officer. … When a soldier answers the call to serve and risks life or limb, it has never mattered to me whether they are gay or straight. My only concern has been whether their service and sacrifice is with pride and honour.”

Brown (51) made the statement following two days of hearings by the Senate Armed Services Committee on the repeal of the ban on gay and lesbian service members, which has the backing of President Obama and military chiefs but not the Republican Party.

His comments were welcomed by LGBT activists who urged Republicans to do the right thing by supporting the repeal of the legislation that has seen around 14,000 staff members being fired from the military because of their sexuality.

As a 22 year old student in 1982, Brown famously won Cosmopolitan magazine’s “America’s Sexiest Man” contest and appeared nude, but strategically covered, in its centrefold.

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