The San Francisco Chronicle is reporting that Democrat Ellen Tauscher will begin a renewed push to end the 16-year-old ban against gay men and lesbians serving openly in the military.

The California Representative is expected to introduce legislation that would end the discriminatory law that discharges service members who do not remain quiet about their sexuality or do not remain celibate.

Democrats held hearings on the issue last summer, but have never put the issue up for a vote due a threatened Bush administration veto.

President Obama has pledged his support in repealing the law and gay rights groups have made it a top priority.

But last month, the Boston Globe quoted Obama saying that the administration would wait for a Pentagon assessment on the issue before moving forward.

Aubrey Sarvis, the president of Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN), a group that advocates for the repeal of the military's gay ban, called that Washington-speak for “let's just kick this down the road a ways” in a Huffington Post editorial.

“We do not need another report to tell us what we already know and what earlier reports have long since concluded: The sexual orientation of a service member is irrelevant,” Sarvis wrote. “What is relevant is how he or she does the job.”

The gay ban – known as “don't ask, don't tell” – was implemented in 1993 by President Bill Clinton, who promised gay groups he would end a military prohibition on gay and lesbian service. But Clinton instituted the “don't ask” compromise instead, after facing fierce resistance from lawmakers and top Pentagon brass to his plan.

In November, over 104 retired generals and admirals released a joint statement calling for an end to the military's gay ban on open service, including Admiral Charles Larson, a four-star admiral and two-time superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy who supported the ban in 1993.

Responding to proponents of the gay ban who say openly gay service members would “sexualize” the military, Larson said, “[L]et's enforce high standards for personal and human behavior for everyone.”