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Gov't seeks stay of 'Don't ask, don't tell' ruling

A soldier closes the door as Dan Choi, right, an Iraq War veteran and a West Point graduate who was discharged from the military in July because he announced publicly that he is gay, sits waiting inside the U.S. Armed Forces Recruiting Center in Times Square, hoping to re-enlist on Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2010, in New York. A soldier closes the door as Dan Choi, right, an Iraq War veteran and a West Point graduate who was discharged from the military in July because he announced publicly that he is gay, sits waiting inside the U.S. Armed Forces Recruiting Center in Times Square, hoping to re-enlist on Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2010, in New York. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)
By Pete Yost
Associated Press Writer / October 20, 2010

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WASHINGTON—The Obama administration on Wednesday asked a federal appeals court to immediately suspend a judge's ruling that overturned the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy on gays.

The government says it wants the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco to take action on Wednesday. The federal government is preparing arguments for the appeals court on why the ruling on "don't ask, don't tell" should be suspended while the case is appealed.

The Obama administration says it is in favor of repealing the law. However, the government says that letting the ruling of U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips to go forward immediately would be a major problem for the military.

Leaving the judge's decision in place now "would create tremendous uncertainty about the status of servicemembers who may reveal their sexual orientation in reliance on the district court's decision and injunction," the Justice Department said in its latest appeals court filing.

"Effectively developing proper training and guidance with respect to a change in policy will take time and effort," the court papers added. "The district court's injunction does not permit sufficient time for such training to occur, especially for commanders and servicemembers serving in active combat."