WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Obama honored Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month with a White House reception Monday where he likened the struggle for gay rights with the struggle of African-Americans for civil rights.
With first lady Michelle Obama at his side, the president told the cheering crowd filling the East Room that his administration would work to repeal the so-called Defense of Marriage Act and end the "don't ask, don't tell" policy regarding gays in the military.
"I know that many in this room don't believe that progress has come fast enough, and I understand that," Obama said. "It's not for me to tell you to be patient any more than it was for others to counsel patience to African-Americans who were petitioning for equal rights a half-century ago."
The "don't ask, don't tell" policy bars military officials from asking about a service member's sexual orientation but also bars the service member from revealing it, and allows the dismissal of a service member if a same-sex orientation is discovered.
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