(AP) A federal appeals court on Wednesday granted a government request to temporarily freeze a judge’s order telling the military to stop enforcing its ban on openly gay troops.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals instructed the lawyers for the gay rights group that brought the lawsuit challenging the policy to file arguments by Monday. The 1993 “don’t ask, don’t tell” rule says gays may serve but only if they keep secret their sexual orientation.

Government lawyers sought to suspend U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips’s ruling while appeals were pending, arguing that it would pose a major problem for the military. They said it could encourage service members to reveal their sexual orientation before the issue is fully decided.

President Barack Obama says he supports repeal of the policy, but only after careful review and an act of Congress.

A lawyer for the Log Cabin Republicans said the group was disappointed with the appeals court’s action.

“We view the decision as nothing more than a minor setback,” Dan Woods said. “We didn’t come this far to quit now, and we expect that once the Ninth Circuit has received and considered full briefing on the government’s application for a stay, it will deny that application.”



Jon Brooks

Jon Brooks is the host and editor of KQED’s health and technology blog, Future of You. He is the former editor of KQED’s daily news blog, News Fix. A veteran blogger, he previously worked for Yahoo! in various news writing and editing roles. He was also the editor of EconomyBeat.org, which documented user-generated content about the financial crisis and recession. Jon is also a playwright whose work has been produced in San Francisco, New York, Italy, and around the U.S. He has written about film for his own blog and studied film at Boston University. He has an MFA in Creative Writing from Brooklyn College.

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