- Associated Press - Saturday, January 29, 2011

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A federal appeals court has denied the government’s request to suspend a lawsuit challenging the military’s ban on openly gay service members.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco issued an order Friday requiring the Department of Justice to file papers by Feb. 25 arguing why the court should overturn a Southern California trial judge who declared the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy unconstitutional.

Government lawyers asked the 9th Circuit earlier this month to set aside the case because the Pentagon is moving quickly to satisfy the steps Congress outlined last month when it voted to allow the ban’s repeal.

The appeals court did not explain in its order why it rejected the request.