Enlisted personnel and civilian military employees are donating more to presidential campaigns than in previous elections, and they overwhelmingly prefer two candidates: Ron Paul, the long-shot Republican presidential contender opposed to using U.S. forces as the "world's police," and President Obama.
Military chaplains are concerned troops could be punished for expressing objections to homosexuality once the "don't ask, don't tell" policy is lifted.
Advocates are advising military gays to stay in the closet for now, as the Pentagon begins months of scene-setting to make sure removing the ban does not hurt combat readiness.
Allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the U.S. military is a step toward equality, advocates say, but a fight for other social changes such as gay marriage still lies ahead.
President Obama's first appointment to the Joint Chiefs of Staff is continuing, rather than settling, the divisive debate among the nation's top military officers on gays in the military.
Pro-military advocates are warning against the dangers of letting federal district court judges start making significant Pentagon policy, saying it would essentially turn the military over to a network of political appointees who could be swayed by various pressure groups.
A smattering of gay rights protesters dogged President Obama as he raised money in South Florida on Monday - the latest in a series of protests from advocates who say he hasn't done enough to reverse the military's ban on openly gay troops.
A group opposed to ending the ban on openly gay troops in the military has released a national survey that challenges earlier independent polls asserting that a wide percentage of Americans favor repealing the ban.