RIVERSIDE, Calif. (AP) - A federal judge has issued a worldwide injunction stopping enforcement of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy, ending the military's 17-year-old ban on openly gay troops.

U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips' landmark ruling Tuesday was widely cheered by gay rights organizations that credited her with getting accomplished what President Obama and Washington politics could not.

U.S. Department of Justice attorneys have 60 days to appeal. Legal experts say the department is under no legal obligation to do so and could let Phillips' ruling stand.

Phillips declared the law unconstitutional after a two-week trial in federal court in Riverside. The case was brought about by the pro-gay Log Cabin Republicans.