Arguably the nation's most prominent openly-gay lawmaker this week slammed Defense Secretary Robert Gates for opening a year-long review of the military's "Don't ask, don't tell policy" against gays in the military, saying it is merely causing delay. 

Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) said that in order to repeal the policy in 2010, as the Obama administration has said it wants to do, the review should be shortened.

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"I was actually troubled by some of Gates' approach. I have no idea what he plans study when he talked about housing," he said in a radio interview that aired Thursday, adding that the entire legislative process of the repeal could take up to six months.

"As quickly as we can do this it will be toward the end of the year," Frank said in a raised voice. "So Gates has plenty of time to study whatever the hell he wants to study."

President Barack Obama announced in his State of the Union address he backs a repeal of the policy that bans gays from serving openly in the military. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen also said be backs ending the policy at a hearing on Capitol Hill this week because it is "the right thing to do."

Gates also said he backs a repeal, but he announced a year-long Pentagon review of the policy this week intended to intended to identify how the military would implement the policy without disrupting unit cohesion.

The move answers Republican complaints that lifting the ban on openly gay service members could ruin the camaraderie among soldiers in the field. Some Republicans have also said that now is the wrong time to nix "Don't ask, don't tell" because the military is engaged in two wars.


Frank took aim at Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) who voiced similar concerns this week.

"And that John McCain...I think the last vestiges that John McCain is an independent guy ready to resist the right wing should be buried," he said.

The Massachusetts lawmaker also said he believes not passing the ban this year would be a failure for this Congress.

When asked if it would be a failure, he asked the host "If you robbed a bank, would you want me to help you get a lawyer? What kind of question is that: Are you beating your spouse? I choose to honor that premise."