WASHINGTON, May 25 (UPI) -- A proposal to allow gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military is acceptable to U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, the Pentagon said.
However, Gates wants Congress to hold off on passing legislation until the Defense Department can complete a review to evaluate the impact of repealing the "don't ask, don't tell" policy, Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said Tuesday.
President Barack Obama Monday approved a compromise on the issue between Congress and the Pentagon. It calls for repeal of the policy but only after giving the Defense Department time to develop an implementation plan.
In a letter to members of Congress, the administration said the approach "recognizes the critical need to allow our military and their families the full opportunity to inform and shape the implementation process through a thorough understanding of their concerns, insights and suggestions."
"Secretary Gates continues to believe that ideally, the (Defense Department) review should be completed before there is any legislation to repeal the 'don't ask, don't tell,' law," Morrell said in a statement. "With Congress having indicated that is not possible, the secretary can accept the language in the proposed amendment."
Congressional leaders have said they expect to put the policy change to a vote this week, American Forces Press Service reported Tuesday.