Gay rights organizations on Monday responded to a Supreme Court order halting the marriages of gay and lesbian couples in Utah as an appeal in a case challenging the state's ban moves forward.

The high court's order puts a hold on a federal judge's December 20 ruling striking down Utah's 2004 voter-approved constitutional amendment limiting marriage to heterosexual couples.

More than 1,000 gay couples married since U.S. District Judge Robert J. Shelby declared Amendment 3 in violation of the U.S. Constitution.

After Shelby and the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver denied the state's requests for a stay, Utah officials turned to the Supreme Court.

The justices gave no indication as to which of the state's arguments swayed them to reinstate the ban until the appeals court has ruled on it, though they appeared united, since no dissents were included.

“While every day's denial of the freedom to marry hurts, today's decision by the Supreme Court to grant a stay in Utah is just a temporary pause in the work to win marriage for all loving and committed same-sex couples in the state,” Evan Wolfson, founder and president of Freedom to Marry, said in a statement. “As the case makes its way up the ladder, we must continue to do the work of having conversations about why marriage matters, engaging both gay and non-gay people, and preparing for when the Supreme Court does take up the next case that will bring national resolution. About 1,000 same-sex couples have legally married in Utah in the past few weeks; and their friends, neighbors, and elected officials will now see that marriage betters their lives and hurts no one. Being married allows a committed couple to protect each other and their family, and gives respect to their commitment under law. It's crucial to use the momentum we gained in 2013 for the freedom to marry in the new year to show that allowing same-sex couples to share in the joy of marriage in Utah – and everywhere – is the right thing to do.”

Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest LGBT rights advocate, also emphasized that the ruling was only a temporary setback.

“Utahns and other Americans have witnessed the joy that marriage has brought to hundreds of loving and committed couples over the past weeks,” Griffin said in a statement. “While it is disappointing that the dreams of many more will be put on hold, we know that in the end justice will be served and no couple will be excluded from this cherished institution. We still live in two Americas where full equality is within reach in one and another where even basic protections are non-existent. As the marriage equality map expands, history is on our side and we will not rest until where you live is not a barrier to living your dreams.”

Omar Sharif, Jr., a spokesman for GLAAD, called the decision “disappointing.”

“By once again denying gay and lesbian Utah couples the vital protections that only marriage can afford, the Court is putting families at risk and taking a big step backward in ensuring full equality for all Americans,” Sharif said in a statement.