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Agence France-Presse

Court Orders US to Cease Enforcing Gay Military Ban


LOS ANGELES - A federal judge ordered the US government Tuesday to "immediately" suspend all discharges of gays serving openly in the military in a major rebuke to the Obama administration's appeal for more time.

In her ruling, US District Judge Virginia Phillips ordered Defense Secretary Robert Gates and the US government as a whole "immediately to suspend and discontinue any investigation, or discharge, separation or other proceeding, that may have been commenced under the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Act."

Critics charge that the law, a 1993 compromise aimed at resolving the thorny issue of gays in the military, infringes on civil rights of gay military personnel and has harmed US national security by forcing out some 14,000 qualified troops.

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