Thea Lavin and Jess Gabbert had been hoping that this week they could tell family and friends to join them at San Francisco City Hall. The couple had an elaborate wedding ceremony last month, but they want legal recognition.
"It's almost tangible the way it feels not having legal recognition from the state; it feels like society is discouraging you," Lavin said.
A three judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has now ruled to keep same-sex marriages on hold until December while the legal wrangling continues. But the judges said they want those who oppose the marriages to explain why they have any legal standing or say in the case.
"The U.S. Supreme Court has said if you're just someone who supported a law, or funded a campaign, you don't have standing to be involved in the challenge to that statute," ABC7 legal analyst Dean Johnson said.
But supporters of Prop 8, the measure that banned same-sex marriages, say they have a right to be part of the legal battle because the seven million Californians who approved the proposition will be harmed if the weddings resume.
"If the people vote for something and that's challenged, the people have got to have some kind of representative to take a stand and defend what the people voted for," legal counsel for Protect Marriage Andy Pugno said.
San Francisco City Hall was preparing to stay open late to handle at least 150 same-sex weddings each day.
"My heart goes out to all those couples and their families that were looking forward to coming to City Hall," Mayor Gavin Newsom said.
Lawyers for the couples that challenged Prop 8 say they would not appeal the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court. They said they were satisfied the appeals court had agreed to expedite the case by scheduling oral arguments for the week of Dec. 6.
Looking Back At Prop 8
Gay couples ask court to allow weddings immediately
Judge keeps gay marriages in Calif. on hold
Schwarzenegger, Brown call for weddings to resume
Appeal filed over Prop 8 ruling
Couples celebrate Prop 8 ruling at SF City Hall
Castro District celebrates Prop 8 ruling
PHOTOS: California reaction to Prop 8 ruling
Judge rules Prop 8 unconstitutional
Future of Proposition 8 now in hands of judge
PHOTOS: Final day of Prop 8 trial
Prop 8 trial re-enacted on the web
Defense lawyers rest case at Prop 8 trial
PHOTOS: Same-sex marriage on trial in SF
Defense presents first witness in Prop 8 case
SF economist says gay marriage ban costs city
Prop 8 attorneys talk history of marriage
Groundbreaking same-sex marriage trial starts in SF
Judge refuses to dismiss Prop 8 suit
San Francisco joins federal battle over Prop 8
Governor wants speedy Prop 8 resolution
Prop 8 fight may head to U.S. Supreme Court
Couples challenge Prop 8 with lawsuit
PHOTOS: Prop 8 upheld in California
Castro District reacts to Prop 8 ruling
Calif. high court upholds gay marriage ban
Hundreds pray on eve of Prop 8 ruling
Justices hear Proposition 8 arguments
Mormon churches role in Prop 8 investigated
Court agrees to hear Prop 8 challenges
California remains conflicted about Prop 8
Prop 8 constitutionality challenged
No on 8 campaign concedes defeat
Same-sex couples scramble to get married
Proposition 8 campaigning begins