Defense Secretary Robert Gates is preparing to offer "a way ahead" this week on repealing "Don't ask, don't tell," the Pentagon said Tuesday.

Defense Department Press Secretary Robert Morrell told reporters that Gates will lay out elements of the department's strategy to repeal the prohibition on openly gay and lesbian servicemembers later this week.

"I think he is prepared to offer a way ahead on that subject this week," Morrell said during a regular press briefing. "Hopefully you'll be seeing him later this week and can address the changes that he is going to be making to the department's policy to provide for a more humane enforcement and application of the law."

Gates has joined President Barack Obama and top military leaders in calling for the repeal of the policy.

It's not clear what the timeline for removing the policy would look like, or whether Gates will comment on that this week.

Some lawmakers have asked for time to study the issue and gain input from military leaders, a process some have said could take as long as a year. In the Senate, a number of members led by Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) have signed onto legislation that would remove the policy.

As an interim solution, some lawmakers have suggested a moratorium on discharging gay and lesbian members of the military who are outed by colleagues.