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Supreme Court puts hold on same-sex marriage in Idaho

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Supreme Court

Supreme Court's courtroom (Photo: William Mears/CNN Wire)

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court has put a temporary hold on same-sex marriage in Idaho.

A federal appeals court Tuesday struck down current bans in that state and in Nevada. Idaho officials then asked the high court to intervene on an emergency basis and block enforcement of that lower court ruling.

Within an hour of receiving the state’s application Wednesday morning, Justice Anthony Kennedy issued a brief order, and gave same-sex couples opposing the ban until Thursday to file a written response.

Presumably, the high court will then issue a subsequent order on whether gay and lesbian couples in Idaho can get married in the near future.

Further appeals from Idaho in coming weeks could tie up the issue in the high court for months.

The Idaho case is the latest in a series of rapidly evolving legal events this week on the controversial social issue.

In a surprise move Monday, the justices refused to get involved now in the constitutional debate over same-sex marriage. That decision allowed same-sex couples to wed legally in five states — Virginia, Utah, Nevada, Indiana, and Wisconsin.