A federal judge in San Francisco authorized a gay rights lawyer to sue the government on behalf of homosexuals whose applications for industrial security clearances are affected by a Pentagon office’s anti-homosexual policy. U.S. District Judge Thelton Henderson granted class-action status to the 10-month-old suit brought by attorney Richard Gayer. Henderson did not rule on the merits of the suit, but rejected government arguments that three civilian employees of San Francisco Bay Area defense contractors could not fairly represent other homosexuals or members of gay organizations affected by the policy. Gayer estimated that clearance applications from at least 1,600 homosexuals nationwide have been delayed or rejected because of the policy of the Defense Industrial Security Clearance Office based in Columbus, Ohio. The suit seeks to overturn the policy.