A federal appeals court has granted a stay of a Wednesday's ruling striking down Indiana's ban on same-sex marriage, stopping the issuance of marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples and leaving those already married in legal limbo.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit granted the stay this afternoon in response to a request filed by Indiana attorney general Greg Zoeller earlier in the day, The Indianapolis Star reports.
"Without a stay, any same-sex marriages granted now might have their legal validity questioned later if the United States Supreme Court eventually were to rule in favor of states in upcoming legal challenges to marriage laws," Zoeller's filing read in part.
Judge Richard Young of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana struck down the ban Wednesday. The state is appealing the ruling, but same-sex couples began marrying across the state immediately after it was issued.
The Star did not have an exact count of same-sex marriages that had taken place since Wednesday, but said all but seven counties have issued licenses to gay couples. Marion County, which includes Indianapolis and is the state's most populous county, had issued 500 such licenses. The legal status of the couples who were married remains to be clarified.