A federal lawsuit challenging West Virginia's ban on gay marriage was put on hold Tuesday until an appeals court rules on a similar case in Virginia.

“Because of the overlap in the issues present in that case and the one before this Court, the Court sua sponte ORDERS that the instant case be STAYED pending a decision from the Fourth Circuit in Bostic v. Schaefer,” U.S. District Judge Robert C. Chambers ordered.

A three judge panel of the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond heard arguments in Bostic v. Schaefer on May 13.

The Fourth Circuit holds appellate jurisdiction over district courts in Virginia and West Virginia.

New York-based Lambda Legal filed the case in October in U.S. District Court in Huntington on behalf of three gay couples and the child of one couple. The law firm argues that West Virginia's statutory ban violates the Due Process and Equal Protection clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment.