A federal appeals court has ordered the U.S. Military to stop enforcing it's long standing "don't ask, don't tell" policy that bars gays from openly serving.
The three judge panel in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled the policy must end because the Obama administration has determined it is unconstitutional to treat homosexuals differently under the law.
Although the policy was overturned by Congress and signed by the President in December, "don't ask, don't tell" remained in place until this ruling to give the Pentagon time to prepare the military for the change.
The plan was to wait until Defense officials were sure lifting the ban wouldn't affect troops' ability to fight.
The original case was brought by the Log Cabin Republicans, a group of gay Republicans.
The group's attorney, Dan Woods, told the Associated Press that unless the administration appeals the court's ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court, "Don't ask, don't tell is over."