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Hundreds of couples in legal limbo as Supreme Court halts same-sex marriage in Utah

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - The Supreme Court has thrown Utah's gay couples into legal limbo by halting same-sex marriages in the state while an appeals court considers the matter.

The justices didn't rule on the merits of the case or on same-sex marriage bans in general.

The order was issued after Utah filed an emergency appeal of a ruling by U.S. District Judge Robert Shelby, who said the state's ban on same-sex marriage violates gay and lesbian couples' constitutional rights.

The high court order will remain in effect until the Denver-based 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decides whether to uphold Shelby's ruling.

More than 900 gay and lesbian couples have married since the Dec. 20 ruling. Utah's attorney general says the state is now trying to determine whether those marriages are valid.