A federal judge has put his own ruling ordering Kentucky officials to recognize the legal out-of-state marriages of gay and lesbian couples on hold for three weeks.

State officials asked U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II for a 90-day stay on his ruling handed down Thursday. Heyburn gave the state until March 20 to comply. State officials have not said whether they plan on pursuing an appeal.

(Related: Kentucky must recognize out-of-state marriages of gay couples, judge rules.)

Plaintiffs in the lawsuit are four gay and lesbian couples who want Kentucky to recognize their marriages celebrated in a separate state or country.

A separate suit before the same judge seeks to allow gay couples to marry in Kentucky.