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The White House on Monday gave its support to the Democrats’ approach to attach the proposal to the larger military bills.

Mr. Gates said Tuesday that he wouldn’t oppose the proposed repeal, although he added he would prefer Congress to hold off until the Pentagon completes its study.

The leader of Human Rights Campaign, one of the country’s largest gay advocacy groups, said, “Senators supporting repeal will be on the right side of history.

“Without a repeal vote by Congress this year, the Pentagon’s hands are tied and the armed forces will be forced to continue adhering to the discriminatory ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ law,” group leader Joe Solmonese said this week.