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Military gay issue delay expected

Democratic Presidential hopefuls raise their hands in response to a question about the 'don't ask, don't tell' policy of the US Military during the Democratic Debate at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire on June 3, 2007. (UPI Photo/CJ Gunther/Pool)
Democratic Presidential hopefuls raise their hands in response to a question about the 'don't ask, don't tell' policy of the US Military during the Democratic Debate at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire on June 3, 2007. (UPI Photo/CJ Gunther/Pool) | License Photo

WASHINGTON, Nov. 21 (UPI) -- President-elect Barack Obama is expected to delay until 2010 a decision to seek an end to the ban on open gays in the military, transition team advisers say.

Obama made repealing the ban a campaign promise. But, advisers told The Washington Times the incoming president first wants to form a consensus among the Joint Chiefs of Staff and his new Pentagon appointees before going to Congress on the potentially explosive matter.

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Currently, a compromise policy known as "don't ask, don't tell" says gay service members must keep their sexuality private or face expulsion from the U.S. armed services. About 12,500 people have been discharged under the policy.

Aubrey Sarvis, executive director of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, said he had held "informal discussions" with the Obama transition team on how the to proceed on the issue, which he also expects to come up in 2010.

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