Three openly gay members of Congress are leading in urging President Obama not to appeal a federal ruling against “Don't Ask, Don't Tell,” the 17-year-old law that prohibits gay troops from serving openly.

Representatives Barney Frank of Massachusetts, Jared Polis of Colorado and Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin were joined by sixty-six House Democrats in appealing to the president.

U.S. District Judge Virginia A. Phillips ruled earlier this month that the Pentagon's policy violates the First and Fifth Amendment rights of gay and lesbian service members. She ruled the policy has a “direct and deleterious effect” on the armed forces.

Gay GOP group the Log Cabin Republicans challenged the policy. Phillips is considering whether to grant the “worldwide, military-wide” injunction against its enforcement the group has asked for. The Justice Department has argued that the ruling should be limited to the 19,000 members of the group.

In a letter addressed to the president, the sixty-nine Democrats argued that the administration should stop defending the law.

“Mr. President, in this critical time when military readiness is paramount we must recognize the importance of every linguist, flight nurse and infantryman. … In the military where lives rely on trust and determination, DADT represents neither.”

“We hope that you, as the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Services, will take this opportunity to restore integrity to our military and decline to appeal Judge Phillips' ruling.”

Obama campaigned on the promise to end the Clinton-era policy, but he's remained mum through most of the debate.

“Don't Ask” opponents won a second case on Friday, when a federal judge in Washington ordered the U.S. Air Force to reinstate Major Margaret Witt, a flight nurse who was discharged in 2006 for violating the policy.

Sandwiched in between the court rulings is last week's failed effort to legislatively repeal the policy.

Several senators – including Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Mark Udall of Colorado – have also urged the president not to appeal the ruling.

Groups lobbying for repeal, however, have said they believe the administration will appeal Phillips' ruling.