Appeals court temporarily blocks gay marriage in Alaska

Appeals court temporarily blocks gay marriage in Alaska
The state began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples on October 9 after the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down Nevada and Idaho's ban on gay marriages.

UNITED STATES - A federal appeals court on Wednesday put gay marriage temporarily on hold in Alaska so the state can appeal to the US Supreme Court over a judge's decision overturning its ban on same-sex matrimony.

The decision by a three-judge panel of the US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals reinstates Alaska's ban on gay marriage until Friday at noon Pacific Time to give the state sufficient time to seek a more lasting ruling from the Supreme Court, according to court papers.

Judge Timothy Burgess of the US District Court for Alaska on Sunday ruled the state's ban on same-sex marriage, which was approved by voters in 1998, was unconstitutional.

The decision followed a flurry of federal court rulings on same-sex marriage.

The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals on Oct. 7 struck down same-sex marriage bans in Nevada and Idaho.

A day earlier, the US Supreme Court surprised observers by leaving intact lower court rulings that struck down gay marriage bans in five other states.

The back-and-forth federal court actions could soon see legal same-sex marriage extended to 35 states.

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