[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/10/10/obama.gay.rights/art.obama.hrc.pool.jpg caption="President Obama speaks Saturday night at the Human Rights Campaign dinner in Washington."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Obama told nation's largest gay rights group that his administration is "moving forward" with the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy.
"We should not be punishing patriotic Americans serving this country," Obama said.
Obama's speech at Saturday's dinner for the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest gay rights group, comes as activists have lost patience over the lack of change to key issues for the gay community.
"I think there was a lot of excitement that things were going to change and I think there is impatience that there hasn't been change fast enough," said Steve Elmendorf, a gay Democratic lobbyist.
Gays and lesbians expected more action from Obama, such as delivering on his campaign promise to urge Congress to pass legislation repealing "don't ask, don't tell" - a policy banning homosexuals from serving openly in the military.
Another issue is same-sex marriage, a battleground point in many states. While the president does not support same-sex marriage, he does want to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as exclusively between a man and a woman.