BOISE, Idaho (AP) -- A federal appeals court has temporarily put plans for Idaho same-sex weddings on hold while it considers the state's request for a longer stay.
The state's gay marriage ban was overturned Tuesday when U.S. District Judge Candy Dale said the law unconstitutionally denied gay and lesbian residents their fundamental right to marry. Dale said Idaho must begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples starting Friday morning.
But the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday put the weddings on hold while it considers a request for a longer stay while the governor and attorney general appeal the case.
The legal filing stated, "The district court's May 13, 2014, order is temporarily stayed pending this court's disposition of appellants' emergency motions for a stay pending appeal."
The four couples who sued to get Idaho's ban overturned had asked the court to allow the weddings to begin.
Gay marriage is legal in 17 states and the District of Columbia.
Gov. Butch Otter responded today by saying, “I appreciate the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals stepping in to ensure Idaho will not have to endure the same kind of chaos and confusion that Utah faced after a similar lower-court decision. Today’s ruling stays the federal magistrate’s order and maintains the status of marriage as defined by the Idaho Constitution – between one man and one woman. Meanwhile, I am proceeding with an aggressive challenge in the appellate court. I’m hopeful for a better outcome, but in any event I am committed to defending our Constitution and the will of Idaho voters.”