Defense Secretary Robert Gates will testify Tuesday at a Senate committee hearing looking into repeal of the military's ban on open gay service, CNN reported.

Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell confirmed the appearance: “The Defense Department leadership is actively working on an implementation and the secretary will have more to say about this next week.”

According to the Senate Armed Services Committee website, an hour has been scheduled to discuss the issue at Tuesday's hearing on the Defense Authorization Request for Fiscal Year 2011.

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.

During President Obama's first State of the Union address he said he would work with Congress and the Pentagon to repeal the law.

Gates, however, has previously said he supports altering the law to make it “more humane,” not repeal it.

In July, Gates questioned the need to take action against service members when they've been outed out of vengeance or after being jilted.

“If someone is outed by a third party … does that force us to take an action?” he asked.

“That's the kind of thing we're looking at to see if there's a more humane way to apply the law until the law gets changed,” Gates added.

In previous speeches, Obama has used the word “change” to describe his position on the issue. However, during Wednesday's address he once again called for repeal of the law.

Republicans, however, remain committed to the law. Arizona Senator John McCain, a member of the committee, has 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,” Aubrey Sarvis, executive director of Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN), a group that lobbies for repeal of the law, responded in a statement. “No law or policy is successful if it hurts military readiness at a time of two wars.”

Michigan Senator Carl Levin, chairman of the committee, is expected to hold a full hearing on repeal legislation sometime in February.