Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) announced this morning that he will introduce legislation repealing "Don't ask, don't tell."

Democrats have sought to repeal the law since President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein Obama3 real problems Republicans need to address to win in 2020 Obama's high school basketball jersey sells for 0,000 at auction Dirty little wars and the law: Did Osama bin Laden win? MORE took office, but have been stymied by a busy legislative calendar.

Lieberman says the time is now right to pass a repeal.

"I will be proud to be a sponsor of the important effort to enable patriotic gay Americans to defend our national security and our founding values of freedom and opportunity," Lieberman said. "To exclude one group of Americans from serving in the armed forces is contrary to our fundamental principles as outlined in the Declaration of Independence and weakens our defenses by denying our military the service of a large group of Americans who can help our cause."

Supporters of the repeal gained momentum this month when Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, both testified in support of changing the policy.

Mullen and Gates asked for a year to study exactly how to enact a repeal, but Democrats have pledged to move forward regardless. 

"It's not a question on the review to see if we're going to do it," Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said earlier this month. "It's just a question of how we can protect people as we go forward with the repeal."

Lieberman, a military hawk who has sided increasingly with Republicans on defense-related issues, could help garner the support of centrist Republicans.