The Justice Department has asked a federal court to put a hold on an injunction issued earlier this week that would end the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy.
In court papers Wednesday, the Obama administration argued that the case raises serious legal questions and the policy should temporarily remain in place during an appeal.
On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips ordered the military to immediately suspend the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy that bans gays from serving openly, and discontinue any investigation to dismiss a gay service member.
President Barack Obama said the military's ban on homosexuals would end on his watch, but said the policy change must be done through Congress.
Earlier Thursday, the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network circulated an e-mail, said to be written by the Air Force's Judge Advocate General Richard Harding.
In it, Harding is quoted saying the department "will abide" by the court order removing the ban on gays in the military.
The military's 'Don't Ask, Don't' tell has been in place for 17 years.