Pentagon officials announced on Friday they would comply with a federal court's ruling ordering it to stop enforcing “Don't Ask, Don't Tell,” the 1993 law that bans gay and bisexual troops from serving openly, but warned service members they should not alter their behavior, Reuters reported.

Undersecretary of Defense Clifford Stanley warned gay troops that altering their personal conduct could have “adverse consequences” for themselves and others should the order be reversed.

The caution comes after U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips granted plaintiffs, represented by gay GOP group Log Cabin Republicans, the injunction they sought after declaring the law unconstitutional last month.

In ruling against the Clinton-era law responsible for ending the military careers of more than 13,000 service members, Phillips said the policy has a “direct and deleterious effect” on the armed services.

Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates on Wednesday signaled he was prepared to fight the judge's ruling when he said Congress, not a court, is responsible for ending the law.

Stanley said the Pentagon would abide by the order and confirmed that Obama's Justice Department had appealed the ruling.

Arguing that a court-ordered repeal of the policy would be “disruptive to military readiness,” the Justice Department asked Phillips to delay implementation of her injunction. Phillips is expected to deny the emergency stay – perhaps as early as Monday – and the administration is likely to seek one from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in California.

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.