A federal appeals court panel on Friday stayed a lower court's ruling ordering Tennessee to recognize the marriages of three gay couples, effectively invalidating their marriages for now.

U.S. District Judge Aleta A. Trauger last month set aside the majority of her ruling ordering Tennessee to recognize the out-of-state marriages of gay couples, ruling that it only covers the lawsuit's three named plaintiff couples.

In putting Trauger's order on hold, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati said it acted because “the law in this area is so unsettled.”

Among the plaintiffs in the lawsuit are Dr. Valeria Tanco and Dr. Sophy Jesty, who married in New York before moving to Knoxville in 2011. A baby girl born to the couple days after Trauger's ruling became the first in Tennessee to have parents of the same gender listed on a birth certificate.

An attorney representing the women told the AP that she does not expect the state to challenge the birth certificate as it pursues an appeal.

Since December, federal judges have struck down all or part of similar bans in Utah, Oklahoma, Michigan, Texas, Virginia, Ohio and Kentucky.

Earlier this month, challenges from Utah and Oklahoma became the first to reach an appeals court.

(Related: Appeals court reviews challenge to Oklahoma's gay marriage ban.)