Obama: 'I Will End Don't Ask, Don't Tell'

President admits slow progress to gay rights group
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 10, 2009 9:49 PM CDT
President Barack Obama delivers a speech at the Human Rights Campaign national dinner, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2009, in Washington.    (Manuel Balce Ceneta)
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(Newser) – President Obama pledged to end the ban on homosexuals serving openly in the military in a speech tonight, but acknowledged to a cheering crowd that the policy changes he promised on the campaign trail are not coming as quickly as they expected. "I will end 'don't ask-don't tell,'" Obama said to a standing ovation from the crowd of about 3,000 of the nation's largest gay rights advocacy group.

He did not, however, give a timetable. Obama said it was no secret "our progress may be taking longer than we like." He followed this by asking supporters to trust his administration's course. "I appreciate that many of you don't believe progress has come fast enough," he said. "Do not doubt the direction we are heading and the destination we will reach." His speech to the Human Rights Campaign comes ahead of a march in Washington tomorrow by gay activists who think he's moving too slowly.