"I don't agree that we have to accept compromises when there's complete injustice," Choi said today in an interview with ABC News. "As far as we're concerned, we have a responsibility to continue asking, when are you going to fully repeal discrimination, when can soldiers finally tell the truth about who they are and who they love, when is integrity going to be restored, and the question when hasn't been answered yet so no I'm not satisfied."
Gay and lesbian groups mostly backed the compromise, with cautious optimism. The groups stressed that more needs to be done in making sure the repeal is actually implemented.
"We are on the brink of historic action to both strengthen our military and respect the service of lesbian and gay troops," Human Rights Campaign president Joe Solmonese said in a statement, adding that the compromise "puts us one step closer to removing this stain from the laws of our nation."
Republicans are vowing fight the proposal in Congress.
"The American people don't want the American military to be used to advance a liberal political agenda. And House Republicans will stand on that principle," said Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind.
Tony Perkins, the head of the conservative Family Research Council, issued a statement slamming the president for "forcing the military to embrace homosexuality just to pay off political supporters."
"This rushed deal is a tacit admission that after the November election, the Democrats are likely to lose a working liberal majority," Perkins said in a statement. "They want to get what they can now, and also far enough away from the election that it won't be prominent in the mind of voters."
A majority of Americans support lifting the policy that was implemented in 1993 under President Clinton. In an ABC News/Washington Post poll released in February, three-quarters of Americans said that gays and lesbians who disclose their sexual orientation should be allowed to serve in the Armed Forces -- up from 44 percent in 1993. This included 64 percent of Republicans, 61 percent of conservatives and 58 percent of white evangelical Protestants who supported gays and lesbians serving openly.
ABC News' Gary Langer and Z. Byron Wolf contributed to this report.