http://apnews.myway.com/article/20111218/D9RMJI680.html sexual orientation is raised at hearing Dec 17, 7:51 PM (ET) By PAULINE JELINEK and DAVID DISHNEAU FORT MEADE, Md. (AP) - The young Army intelligence specialist accused of leaking government secrets spent his 24th birthday in court Saturday as his lawyers argued his status as a gay soldier before the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" played an important role in his actions. Lawyers for Pfc. Bradley Manning began laying out a defense to show that his struggles in an environment hostile to homosexuality contributed to mental and emotional problems that should have barred him from having access to sensitive material. Manning is accused of leaking hundreds of thousands of sensitive items to the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks, including Iraq and Afghanistan war logs, State Department cables and a military video of a 2007 American helicopter attack in Iraq that killed 11 men, including a Reuters news photographer and his driver.