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Oct 11, 2009 9:18 AM by Associated Press

Obama says he will end 'don't ask, don't tell' policy

President Barack Obama is reaffirming his campaign pledge to end the ban on homosexuals serving openly in the military. Obama told thousands gathered at the annual dinner of the Human Rights Campaign in Washington on Saturday night, that he'll end "don't ask-don't tell."

That got him a standing ovation from the gay civil rights advocacy group. But he offered no timetable or specifics for acting on the promise.

The president also acknowledged that some policy changes he promised are not coming as quickly as they expected. But, as he put it, "Do not doubt the direction we are heading and the destination we will reach."

The president called on Congress to repeal the Defense Of Marriage Act, which limits how state, local and federal bodies can recognize partnerships and determine benefits. Obama also expressed his strong support for the Human Rights Campaign agenda -- ending discrimination against gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people, but stopped short of laying out a detailed plan for how to get there.

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