The Obama administration will more than likely appeal a federal judge's ruling ordering the Pentagon to halt implementing its ban on gay troops.

“It is becoming more and more clear that the Obama Administration intends to seek a stay to this injunction and it is going to appeal the decision,” Aubrey Sarvis, executive director of Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN), the largest group lobbying for repeal of the policy, said in a statement.

The 1993 law, known as “Don't Ask, Don't Tell,” prescribes discharge for gay, lesbian and bisexual service members who do not remain closeted or celibate.

Last month, U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips declared the law unconstitutional. She said the policy has a “direct and deleterious effect” on the armed services.

On Tuesday, she granted plaintiffs, represented by gay GOP group Log Cabin Republicans, the injunction they sought. Justice Department lawyers had argued that the order should apply only to Log Cabin members, but Phillips disagreed.

The ruling comes after Democrats in the Senate failed to break a Senator John McCain-led Republican filibuster on legislative repeal of the Clinton-era law.

Citing “sources familiar with the government's plans,” reported that the administration is expected to file “a motion for an emergency stay to halt the injunction to be filed first with Phillips as a matter of procedure. If she rejects it, as expected, the request for an emergency stay would accompany the formal appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court.”

On Wednesday, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said the law should be repealed by Congress, not courts.