Gay marriages halted in California

A federal appeals court has put same-sex weddings in California on hold indefinitely while it considers the constitutionality of the state's gay marriage ban.

The decision, issued by the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals, trumps a lower court judge's order that would have allowed marriage licences to same-sex couples to be issued from tomorrow. Chief US District Court Judge Vaughn Walker had decided last week to allow gay marriages to go forward after ruling that the ban, known as Proposition 8, violated equal protection and due process rights of gays and lesbians.