Court Orders 'Immediate' End to Gay Troop Ban

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WASHINGTON - After months of administering "sensitivity training" to prepare troops for the full repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," a federal appeals court has ordered the ban on gays serving openly in the military to be lifted immediately.

The three-judge panel from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco said there's no longer any purpose for the stay it had placed on a lower court ruling that overturned "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

The court cited the Obama administration's position that homosexuals and lesbians should not suffer discrimination under the law.

It's been about seven months since Congress passed the repeal of the policy and the president signed it into law.

"I believe it is the right thing to do for our military," Obama said last December. "I believe it is the right thing to do, period."

Some military commanders voiced major concerns of lifting the ban on homosexuals. Lawmakers and the president then agreed to a waiting period to make sure the change didn't affect troop readiness.

Click play to watch Jennifer Wishon's report, followed by analysis from author and Navy veteran Frank Turek.  Also, watch Turek's extended interview with CBN News on the impact this repeal could have on troops below.

For months, military members have been undergoing training on the new law.

The Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps are almost done. The Army is on track to finish training active duty forces by July 15.

Chiefs of the military services are scheduled to submit reports on training progress to new Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, Friday.

Under the law Obama signed, as soon as the Pentagon agrees that ending "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" won't affect readiness, the military will have had 60 days to make the official change.

But unless overturned, Wednesday's decision by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ends that waiting period.

CBN News asked the Pentagon if it would appeal. A spokesman said they are studying the ruling with the Department of Justice.

"We will of course comply with orders of the court, and are taking immediately steps to inform the field of this order," Pentagon spokesman Col. Dave Lapan said.

Either way, "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is expected to be officially a thing of the past sometime this Fall.

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Jennifer Wishon

Jennifer Wishon

CBN News White House Correspondent

Jennifer Wishon is the White House correspondent for CBN News based in the network’s Washington, D.C. Bureau.  Before taking over the White House beat, Jennifer covered Capitol Hill and other national news, from the economy to the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.  Follow Jennifer on Twitter @JenniferWishon and "like" her at Facebook.com/JennWishon.