A federal judge has ruled that gay marriages in California should remain on hold until at least Aug. 18.
Judge Vaughn Walker set the deadline Thursday to give gay marriage opponents time to appeal to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. If the appeals court fails to act by 5 p.m. local time next Wednesday, then gay marriages can go forward.
Walker struck down the state's voter-approved gay marriage ban last week in a case many believe is destined for the Supreme Court.
But he moved to suspend gay weddings until he could consider arguments from both sides on whether the marriages should be allowed during an appeal of his ruling.
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Dozens of gay couples gathered outside City Hall in San Francisco on Thursday awaiting the judge's ruling.