Washington (CNN) - Secretary of Defense Robert Gates issued a lukewarm endorsement Tuesday of a newly unveiled Democratic plan to repeal the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy.
The proposed agreement - reached Monday by the White House and top congressional Democrats - calls for a repeal of the controversial policy to become final after completion of a military review expected by the end of 2010, followed by a review certification from President Barack Obama, Gates and Joint
Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen.
Initial votes on the proposal in the Senate Armed Services Committee and the full House could occur as soon as Thursday, sources have told CNN.
Gates "continues to believe that ideally the [Defense Department] review should be completed before there is any legislation to repeal the Don't Ask Don't Tell law," according to a statement by Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell. But "with Congress having indicated that is not possible, the secretary can accept the language in the proposed amendment."
Updated: 1:24 p.m.