WASHINGTON - A proposal to step up the repeal of the ban on gays and lesbians serving openly in the military but still allow the Pentagon time - perhaps even years - to implement new policies won the White House's backing on Monday after administration officials met with gay rights activists.
The White House budget office sent a letter supporting the proposal to remove the Clinton-era "don't ask, don't tell" law even as the Pentagon continues a review of the system. Implementation of policy for gays serving openly would still require the approval of President Barack Obama, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen. How long implementation might take is not known, but the proposed amendment would have no effect on current practices.
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