A federal appeals panel on Wednesday temporarily blocked a lower court ruling that halted enforcement of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy banning openly gay and lesbian soldiers from the military.

The ruling by a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals gave the government the delay it sought in challenging a federal judge’s order last week to stop enforcing the policy around the world.

“The order is stayed temporarily in order to provide this court with an opportunity to consider fully the issues presented,” said the appellate panel’s ruling, which gave parties in the case until October 25 to file further documents.

Aubrey Sarvis, an Army veteran and executive director of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, said the appeals court panel’s ruling “means that ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ is once again on the books, and is likely to be enforced by the Defense Department.”

“Gay and lesbian service members deserve better treatment than they are getting with this ruling,” Sarvis said. The American Civil Liberties Union and the Human Rights Campaign also expressed disappointment and called for an end to “don’t ask, don’t tell.”

Earlier Wednesday, the Obama administration filed an emergency request with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to stop the military from allowing openly gay troops from serving, putting itself in a strange position.

In effect, the administration wants to continue barring gays from the military even though it ultimately favors repealing “don’t ask, don’t tell.”

Source: CNN

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