The all new
CBS News App for Android® for iPad® for iPhone®
Fully redesigned. Featuring CBSN, 24/7 live news. Get the App

Gates Seeks to Assure Troops on "Don't Ask"

Defense Secretary Robert Gates testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, May 18, 2010, before a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the new START Treaty.
AP PHOTO
AP

Defense Secretary Robert Gates has released a video seeking to reassure members of the military as Congress moves toward possibly authorizing repeal of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy.

The repeal, if passed, would not go into effect until after completion of a Pentagon review on the impact of eliminating the policy and subsequent approval from Gates, Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen and President Obama to move forward.

In the video, Gates asks members of the military for guidance on "how to do this right" and insists no change is imminent.

The Pentagon review is set to be completed by December first.

"While it appears likely that Congress will eventually change the 'Don't Ask Don't Tell' law, we do not expect the legislation that would do this to be presented to the president for months -- perhaps not until the end of the year," Gates said, noting that the repeal is deferred.

"While this process plays out over time, nothing will change in terms of our current policies and practices," he adds. "Current law, policies and regulations remain in place, and we are obligated to abide by them as before."

The House voted today to repeal the policy, which bans gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military, pending the review and approvals. A spirited debate is expected on the matter sometime this summer in the Senate, with some Republicans promising to filibuster the attempt to attach repeal to the pending defense spending bill.

Watch the video of Gates below.