Judge Leaning Toward Denying Request to Stay Ruling Against Military's Gay Ban

A federal judge in California signaled Monday that she’ll deny a government request to continue enforcement of the military's ban on openly gay service members while it appeals her landmark ruling that deemed the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy unconstitutional.

Before hearing the government's argument for putting a stay on her injunction that bars enforcement of the gay policy, U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips told the courtroom, "My tentative ruling is to deny the application for a stay."

She'll issue a final ruling later Monday night.

For the Pentagon, this means having to put a hold on all proceedings related to the policy, and soldiers cannot be dismissed based on sexuality. It's the first time the military will have a policy that allows gays to openly serve since the first law on the matter was passed 1993.

But the Pentagon is not encouraging homosexuals in uniform to come out just yet. In a statement issued late last week, the Pentagon's Director of Personnel and Readiness noted that a Justice Department appeal of the matter is pending. It was another way of saying gays could risk future dismissal if they out themselves now.

President Obama campaigned on reforming the law and he upset of number of gay advocates when his Justice Department announced last week they would seek to appeal Judge Phillips' ruling. Without an appeal, the police would end for good.

Obama has made clear he wants this policy change to be decided in Congress, rather than in the courts.

Pentagon Spokesman Col. Dave Lapan says he believes an appeal process in the Circuit Court could get under way in a relatively short period of time, days or weeks rather than months.