Gates promises to try to spare more gays from being booted from the military. This is while the Pentagon takes a year to study changing "don't ask, don't tell". Gates has always said that change should not come too quickly. In a speech last year, he reminded folks that the executive order for racial integration took five years to implement.
Obama has called on Congress to repeal the law, but Republicans just laughed in Obama's face, and Democrats say they want more guidance on how it should be done without the change causing an upheaval in the military. Democrats aren't expected to fight Republicans over this equal rights issue until after this fall's midterm elections.
The terrible policy has resulted in the discharge of more than 13,000 patriotic and highly qualified men and women in the last 16 years. At least 1,000 of these 13,000 have held “critical occupations,” such as interpreters and engineers.
Just after the fall of Baghdad, the military forced out more than 320 service members with vital language skills such as Arabic and Farsi. These are the very critical areas where the military continues to face damaging shortages. Meanwhile, the Army and Marine Corps have been forced to significantly lower their moral and aptitude standards in order to overcome recruitment shortfalls. While fabulous smart gay people have been picked on for no good reason, the military has been granting “moral waivers” to thousands of new recruits, including people with felony convictions.