An Illinois congressman expressed confidence Friday that Congress would vote to repeal the ban on openly gay people from serving in the military during the lame-duck session.

Freshman Rep. Mike Quigley (D), a staunch defender of gay rights, told Edge Chicago that he expects action on the policy after the November elections and before the new Congress takes power in January.


"I’m more hopeful about the lame duck session," Quigley said. "I have faith that we’re going to repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell."

The congressman's comments suggest that Democrats could take up contentious issues during the lame-duck session even though Republicans have objected to taking up such matters. Many observers have predicted that the GOP could take control of the House, which could make a repeal vote more difficult next year.

Many Republicans lawmakers have objected to the repeal, saying it would disrupt unit cohesion.

President Obama and Democratic leaders have said they support repealing "Don't ask, don't tell" but the Pentagon is conducting a year-long review of the policy before any action is taken. 

That has caused consternation among gay-rights activists, who have pressured the White House using vocal protests. Several discharged military veterans were arrested after chaining themselves to the White House gates earlier this year.

Gay-rights protesters have also interrupted two of Obama's fundraising speeches in the past year, prompting stern reactions from the president, who said he is committed to repeal. 

Due to the Pentagon review, it's not clear what effect a House vote would have on implementing repeal.