The Supreme Court effectively barred same-sex couples from marrying in Virginia Wednesday after it delayed a lower court decision that would have lifted the state’s gay marriage ban. The appeals court ruling demanded that Virginia recognize out of state same-sex marriages and would have allowed same sex-couples to marry as early as Thursday morning.
Same-sex couples in Virginia must now wait until the Supreme Court decides to either decline to hear the appeal, under which the stay would be waived, or to reach a verdict of its own.
The Supreme Court did not provide an explanation for the order, which was requested by a Virginia court clerk, but it didn't come as a surprise after it put same sex-unions on hold in Utah earlier this year.
The top plaintiff in the case, Tim Bostic, told USA Today that he preferred to hear a verdict from the Supreme Court.
"While we are disappointed that marriages will have to wait, this was not unexpected," he said. "We feel that this case deserves to be heard by the Supreme Court and be finally decided for all Americans."
Virginia voted in 2006 to ban gay marriage, but both of Virginia's Democratic senators—Tim Kaine and Mark Warner—endorsed the practice last year.