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Court halts California gay marriages pending appeal

/ Source: msnbc.com news services

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.

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