President Barack Obama promised to end the ban on homosexuals serving openly in the military in a speech to a leading gay rights organization Saturday.
"I will end 'don't ask-don't tell,'" Obama said at the annual dinner of the Human Rights Campaign, a gay civil rights advocacy group.
Obama reaffirmed his commitment to end the ban, but did not give a timetable.
He 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," Obama said. "Do not doubt the direction we are heading and the destination we will reach."
On Sunday, gay rights supporters who feel the administration has not done enough to advance their agenda gathered in D.C. for the "National Equality March." Click play for more.
"I do believe that he needs the courage to produce the change that I believe he believes in, and that means that we have to, in our own congressional districts, lobby the people that work with him to make that change possible," National Equality March co-director Robin McGehee said.
This will be only the second time a sitting president has spoken to the group. In 1997, former President Bill Clinton gave a similar speech.
One former Clinton adviser says Obama needs to "spend some of his political capital on ending the gay military ban." The adviser also said the president needs to come out in favor of gay marriage.
Obama has committed to repealing "Don't Ask Don't Tell" but has been involved in more heated domestic policy debates -- like health care.
"President Obama's relationship with the gay community has got to be one of the more confusing ones out there," CBN News White House Correspondent David Brody wrote on his blog, The Brody File, posted on the CBNNews.com Web site.
"Obama may sympathize with their cause but he's not going to invest political capital on their pet issues and risk ticking off moderates and Independents who are not necessarily on board with the gay agenda. Why would he fight to the death on 'Don't Ask Don't Tell' when he's got health care reform and Afghanistan to deal with? There's only so much political capital to go around," Brody wrote.