A U.S. federal judge has ruled that the U.S. military's ban on openly homosexual people serving in the armed forces is unconstitutional.
District Judge Virginia Phillips, who sits in the state of California, said she intended to issue an order that the U.S. military must no longer enforce the policy, which is known as "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."
In her ruling on September 9, the judge said the policy did not help U.S. military readiness, and instead had a harmful effect on the armed services.
Reports say the judge plans to draft an injunction to stop the policy's enforcement, and that the U.S. government can also appeal the ruling before the injunction comes into force.
President Barack Obama has pledged to repeal the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, but has said he will do so in coordination with military leaders and Congress.
The controversial policy prohibits the military from asking about the sexual orientation of service members, but requires that soldiers found to be homosexual be discharged from the military.
compiled from agency reports