A federal judge on Wednesday heard arguments in a lawsuit seeking to force Utah to recognize the marriages of more than 1,300 gay and lesbian couples who exchanged vows during the 17-day window when such unions were legal in the state.

On December 20, 2013, U.S. District Judge Robert J. Shelby struck down Amendment 3, the state's 2004 voter-approved constitutional amendment limiting marriage to heterosexual couples. For 17 days before the Supreme Court granted a stay in the ruling, Utah was the 18th state to legalize same-sex marriage.

Plaintiffs in the case, four gay couples who married in Utah, are represented by the ACLU.

Tony Milner and Matt Barraza, one of the couples involved in the case, told The Salt Lake Tribune that adoption proceedings were stopped after the state decided it would not recognize the marriages that had already taken place as it pursues an appeal.

ACLU attorneys argued that the state's denial causes “irreparable harm” to its clients.

Attorneys for the state said that the couples' marriages should not be recognized until all appeals have been exhausted.

Judge Dale Kimball did not say when he would issue his ruling.

Meanwhile, an initial state budget sets aside $500,000 to pay outside attorneys defending Utah's ban, the AP reported.