Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and President Barack Obama are backing a plan to reconsider repeal of “Don't Ask, Don't Tell,” the 17-year-old law that bans gay and bisexual troops from serving openly, after Thanksgiving.

Groups lobbying for repeal, including the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) and the Center for American Progress Action Fund (CAPAF), were told of the plan during a Wednesday meeting attended by key Senate leadership and administration officials.

Backers of repeal have been urging lawmakers to act during the lame-duck session before Republicans take over the House and increase their numbers in the Senate next year, making repeal less likely.

Arizona Senator John McCain, the loudest critic of repeal in the Senate, successfully blocked an earlier effort to repeal the law that has ended the military careers of more than 13,000 service members, and has promised to filibuster a second attempt.

McCain's strident opposition to repeal prompted Michigan Senator Carl Levin, the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, to earlier say that he would consider removing the repeal language from the defense spending bill – a move certain to end debate on repeal for the foreseeable future.

While repeal is far from certain, at least one Republican appears to be coming around.

Maine Senator Susan Collins on Monday joined Senator Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) in asking Defense Secretary Robert Gates to release a report on repeal of the law before its scheduled December 1 release.

Details of the report leaked to the press show that more than 70 percent of troops are okay with repeal of the policy. Several senators have previously voiced objections to moving forward until they have had a chance to read the military's findings. McCain called the report flawed and asked for a new study.