Reaction from gay leaders to President Obama's Wednesday night reiteration that he'll work to drop the military's gay ban has been lukewarm.

Obama made his remarks during his 2010 State of the Union address before a joint session of the U.S. Congress.

“This year I will work with Congress and our military to finally repeal the law that denies gay Americans the right to serve the country they love because of who they are.”

The policy, also known as “don't ask, don't tell,” is the 1993 law that prohibits gay and lesbian service members from revealing their sexuality at the risk of losing their jobs.

The inclusion drew a standing ovation from Democrats. But members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, seated directly in front of the president, remained seated. Defense Secretary Robert Gates joined Democrats in their praise.

“The time for talk is over. The time for action is now,” Daniel W. Choi, a lieutenant in New York's Army National Guard, said in a statement.

Choi outed himself during a television interview last March, prompting the Army to discharge him.

Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN), a group that lobbies for repeal of the law, applauded the inclusion, but warned that there was a “sense of urgency to get this done in 2010.”

“As Rep. Patrick Murphy and Sen. [Kirsten] Gillibrand have made clear, this is the year to repeal the law,” Aubrey Sarvis, executive director of SLDN, said.

Republicans, however, remain committed to the law. Arizona Senator John McCain called the policy “successful.”

“At a time when our Armed Forces are fighting and sacrificing on the battlefield, now is not the time to abandon the policy,” McCain said in a statement released immediately after the president's call for an end to the law.

“It would be a mistake to think this law is working,” Sarvis responded. “No law or policy is successful if it hurts military readiness at a time of two wars.”

Several gay leaders called the lack of specifics from the president troubling, including Rea Carey, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. Carey said “the time for broad statements is over.”

How to repeal the law remains a contentious issue, as well. Obama has dismissed calls for him to end the law with an executive order, saying he is looking for a “durable solution.” And Congressional action remains stalled. While both houses of Congress have promised to look at the issue, hearings have been postponed twice already. Whether Congress even has enough support to approve a repeal bill remains doubtful, especially in the Senate, where Democrats no longer hold a filibuster-proof majority.

Among Democrats, support for repeal continues to grow. Candidate Obama promised to repeal the law. Last night's promise was his second call as president. Obama attended a gay fundraiser in October where he made a similar promise.

A House bill that would repeal the law has attracted 187 mostly Democratic co-sponsors.

“When I visited Iraq and met our soldiers there, I didn't see black or white, Democrats or Republicans, gay or straight, I saw Americans who were willing to serve their country,” Mike Quigley, a representative from Illinois, said.

“I look forward to the day when our military both welcomes and celebrates the identities of all its soldiers, and I remain committed to working with the president and my colleagues to reconcile our policies with our fundamental ideals of equality,” he added.

A UCLA study released Tuesday found that the military has spent up to $500 million implementing the law. Approximately 66,000 gay men and lesbians currently serve in the military, the study concluded.