Washington: Ending the US military`s policy that bans gays from openly serving must be orderly, US President Barack Obama said on Wednesday, expressing hope that Congress will repeal the law when it returns following an election recess.
Obama has sought to have the 1993 law known as "don`t ask, don`t tell" repealed, but his administration has fought recent court orders instructing the Pentagon to halt its enforcement.
Instead, Obama wants Congress to remove the law from the books and allow the Pentagon to implement a plan that would allow gays to serve openly. Under "don`t ask, don`t tell" gays can serve but are required to keep their sexuality secret.
"Something that would be very disruptive to good order and discipline and unit cohesion is if we`ve got this issue bouncing around in the courts," Obama said, leaving Pentagon leaders confused over "what rules they`re working under".
The Pentagon is expected to complete its review on implementing a new policy by December 01. Democratic efforts to repeal the law were blocked by Republicans in September, but Obama is hopeful it will come up again in the weeks ahead.
Democrats suffered major defeats in congressional elections on Tuesday night. With more seats in the Senate, Republicans will be in a stronger position to block the repeal when Congress begins its next session in January.
Several Republicans have expressed support for a repeal, but want to give the Pentagon more time to work out a new policy.