Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced Tuesday the results of the Pentagon's 10-month study on how to repeal the "don't ask, don't tell" policy.
"In summary, a strong majority of those who answered the survey, more than two-thirds do not object to gays and lesbians serving openly in uniform," Gates told reporters.
"The findings suggest that for a large segments of the military, repeal of 'don't ask, don't tell' -- though potentially disruptive in the short term -- would not be the wrenching, traumatic change that many have feared and predicted," he said.
"The data also shows that within the combat armed specialties and units there is a higher level of discontent -- of discomfort and resistance to changing the current policy," Gates continued.
"With regards to readiness, the working group report concluded that overall and with thorough preparation -- and I emphasize thorough preparation -- there is a low risk from repealing 'don't ask, don't tell.'"
"Now that we have completed this review, I strongly urge the Senate to pass this legislation and send it to the president for signature before the end of this year," he added.