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Judge Denies Delay on Gay Troops Order

Updated at 10:38 p.m. ET

A federal judge has denied a government request to delay her order halting the military from enforcing its ban on openly gay troops.

U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips issued her ruling Tuesday after saying the government had not proven that her order would harm troops or impede efforts to implement new military regulations to deal with openly gay troops.

The judge said safeguarding constitutional rights outweighed the government's unproven concerns of the order's impact on military readiness and unit cohesion.

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"Defendants merely conclude, without explanation, that 'confusion and uncertainty' will result if the injunction remains in place," she said in her ruling. "Thus, defendants have failed to establish they are likely to suffer irreparable injury if a stay is not granted."

Justice Department officials say the Obama administration will appeal to the appellate court in San Francisco.

The military has promised to abide by her order as long as it remains in place.

Phillips declared the "don't ask, don't tell" policy unconstitutional Sept. 9. Under the 1993 law, the military cannot inquire into service members' sexual orientation and punish them for it as long as they keep it to themselves.