The Associated Press
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a temporary halt to gay marriages in Alaska on Wednesday.
With the decision, the federal appeals court in San Francisco has allowed the state until Friday to get a stay from the U.S. Supreme Court.
If that stay isn’t issued, the federal court action dissolves at 11 a.m. Friday, when gay marriages will be allowed to go forward.
The state of Alaska appealed to the 9th Circuit earlier Wednesday, seeking to block same-sex unions while it went to the Supreme Court to argue that state’s voters should decide the issue, not the courts.
U.S. District Judge Timothy Burgess on Sunday struck down Alaska’s ban on same-sex marriages as unconstitutional.
Alaska voters passed the state’s ban in 1998, helping spark the national debate.
Gay couples began applying for marriage certificates Monday, beginning a three-day clock to when ceremonies could be held on Thursday. However some couples received waivers from judges and have already married.
It’s been more than a week since a flurry of gay-marriage developments began with the Supreme Court’s denial of appeals from five states, allowing for expansion of marriage rights.
Shortly afterward, a federal court in the West struck down bans in Idaho and Nevada.