The Pentagon said Friday that it would abide by a federal appeals court ruling and halt the separations of all troops under the "don't ask, don't tell" (DADT) policy, according to Army Times.

The department also said it would immediately begin accepting applications from gay and lesbian recruits.

A federal appeals court in San Francisco Wednesday ordered a halt to enforcement of the gay ban, on the grounds that it was unconstitutional.

President Barack Obama signed repeal of the controversial ban in December, but the policy will not be formally repealed until 60 days after the defense secretary and chairman of the Joint Chiefs "certify" that military readiness will not be impacted.

"SLDN welcomes this temporary suspension of 'don’t ask, don’t tell' discharges in the wake of this week's court decision, but we urge the Pentagon to go further by suspending all investigations of service members that are currently ongoing, and confirm that the Department of Defense and Department of Justice are not preparing to appeal the court's ruling," Servicemembers Legal Defense Network Aubrey Sarvis told San Diego Gay & Lesbian News.

"It's imperative for service members, gay and straight, who have been living with ambiguity for far too long as this process has languished unnecessarily. The time for clarity and finality is long overdue," he added.