Published: Sep 10, 2010 4:41 AM EDT
Updated: Sep 10, 2010 1:41 AM EDT

      RIVERSIDE, Calif. (AP) - A federal judge in Southern California has declared the U.S. military's ban on openly gay service members unconstitutional because the ban violates the First Amendment rights of gays and lesbians.
      U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips said Thursday she will issue an injunction that would halt the enforcement of the government's "don't ask, don't tell" policy nationwide.
      Phillips says the policy doesn't help military readiness and instead has a "direct and deleterious effect."
      The Log Cabin Republicans filed the lawsuit in 2004. Phillips says she will draft the injunction with input from the group within a week and the government will have a week to respond.
      The case comes amid promises by President Barack Obama that he will work to repeal the policy.