The Pentagon is expected to make a number of “humane” suggestions on how to deal with gay soldiers this week.

Defence secretary Robert Gates will offer a more “humane enforcement and application” of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy, which forces gay soldiers to keep their sexual orientation secret.

Reuters reports that Mr Gates’ press secretary Geoff Morrell told reporters yesterday: “I think he is prepared to offer a way ahead on that subject this week. So stay tuned.

“Hopefully you’ll be seeing him later this week and [he] can address the changes that he is going to be making.”

One way which has been suggested is disregarding evidence of third parties outing gay soldiers.

Some of the 13,000 soldiers discharged under the law since 1993 were outed by others who informed superiors of their sexual orientation.

However, another suggestion floated is that out gay soldiers could serve, but with separate sleeping and washing quarters.

This idea has been condemned by campaigners for repeal.

US president Barack Obama has said he wants to see the law repealed and a review is underway.