Backers of California's anti-gay marriage initiative, Prop. 8, argued that the judge who declared the law unconstitutional should not have taken the case because he is gay. A federal judge rejected that argument Tuesday.
The Ninth Circuit ruled Wednesday not to lift the 'temporary' stay on same-sex marriages in California, imposed in August 2010.
As a federal court considers the constitutionality of a voter-approved ban in California, some gay-marriage advocates say a Supreme Court decision could be the best path to legalization.
In the federal trial on California's Prop. 8, defenders of the voter ban on gay marriage called their first witnesses Monday. Defense lawyers argue that gays and lesbians in California enjoy plenty of political power and do not need extra constitutional protection.
Legal challenges ensue in federal court, and plans are afoot for a 2010 ballot measure to undo Proposition 8.