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Judge puts Michigan gay marriages on hold

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DETROIT (AP) -

A federal appeals court has indefinitely suspended a judge's decision that allowed gay marriage in Michigan.

 The ruling Tuesday means Michigan's ban on same-sex marriage stays on the books while the appeals court takes more time to consider the case. The panel ruled 2-1.

The ban was thrown out Friday by a federal judge in Detroit. Hundreds of couples were married Saturday before the appeals court put a temporary halt to the judge's ruling.

The court now has extended the stay after reading arguments from the state of Michigan and attorneys for two Detroit-area nurses who challenged the ban.

U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman said the gay marriage ban is unconstitutional. Nearly 60 percent of voters approved it in 2004.

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