Ninth Circuit puts hold on Montana appeal of same-sex marriage ruling


HELENA, Mont. — The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has granted the attorney general’s request to put a hold on his appeal of a court ruling that Montana‘s ban on same-sex is unconstitutional.

MontanaAttorney General Tim Fox sought the delay last week because the Supreme Court plans to take up the issue.

The Independent Record reports the appeals court granted the delay on Monday.

It doesn’t make sense to spend time and money on the case when the federal court’s decision will affect Montana, spokesman John Barnes said last week.

State attorneys most likely will file a brief with other states in the U.S. Supreme Court case, defending the right of states to define marriage as they choose, he said.

Montana voters approved the constitutional ban on same-sex marriage in 2004.

In May, four same-sex couples sued to challenge the ban. U.S. District Judge Brian Morris tossed out the ban in November.

Associated Press contributed to this report.

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