Same-Sex Weddings on Hold

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Getty Images/Oli Scarff
    LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 24: A gallery technician at Sotheby's auction house holds an incredibly rare blue diamond ring which is set to be auctioned in Geneva and is expected to fetch up to GBP 6million on April 24, 2009 in London, England. The stone, known as a fancy vivid blue diamond is internally flawless and weighs 7.03 carats, it has been granted the highest possible grading for blue diamonds by the Gemological Institute of America. The ring is to be auctioned as part of Sotheby's Geneva's 'Magnificent Jewels' sale to be held on May 12, 2009. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

    Same-sex weddings in California are on hold indefinitely after a federal appeals court blocked the unions Monday while it considers the constitutionality of the state's gay marriage ban.

    The decision, issued by a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, trumps a lower court judge's order that would have allowed county clerks to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples on Wednesday.

    Chief U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker decided last week to allow gay marriages to go forward after ruling that the ban, known as Proposition 8, violated equal protection and due process rights of gays and lesbians guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution.

    The Proposition 8 legal team quickly appealed Walker's ruling in a case that many believe will end up before the Supreme Court.

    A lot of couples -- including San Diego Mayor Jerry Sander's daughter and her partner --  were expected to go to the San Diego County Administration Building this week for weddings, but those ceremonies will no longer take place. It now appears those couples will have to wait until the appeals process is over, and at this point, it is unclear when that will happen.

    There were about 18,000 same-sex couples married before Prop 8 passed in November of 2008.