Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, May 24, 2010; 7:51 PM
President Obama has signed on to a "don't ask, don't tell" compromise between lawmakers and the Defense Department, the White House announced Monday, an agreement that removes a key obstacle to repealing the military's policy banning gays and lesbians from serving openly in the armed forces.
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Under the compromise, worked out in a series of meetings Monday at the White House and on Capitol Hill, lawmakers will proceed to repeal the Clinton-era policy in the next several days, but that action will not go into effect until the Pentagon completes a study about implementing the repeal.
In a letter to lawmakers pushing for a repeal, the White House wrote Monday that "such an 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."
Gay rights advocates hailed the White House decision as a "dramatic breakthrough" that they predicted would dismantle the policy once and for all.