A federal appeals court on Friday granted a stay in a lower court's order striking down Indiana's ban on gay marriage.

U.S. District Judge Richard Young did not stay his ruling, handed down Wednesday, which led to a rush of gay couples to marry at county clerk offices.

(Related: Federal judge strikes down Indiana's gay marriage ban; Weddings begin.)

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago put a hold on Young's order pending an appeal without explanation.

Tired of waiting on Young to act on his stay request for a stay, Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller turned to the appeals court.

Young had consolidated several cases, including one ordering the state to recognize the out-of-state marriage of a terminally ill lesbian. Niki Quasney, who married Amy Sandler, her partner of 13 years, last year in Massachusetts, is battling stage 4 ovarian cancer. The women want their marriage recognized so Quasney can be listed as married on her anticipated death certificate and Sandler listed as her surviving spouse.

“Niki, Amy, and their two toddler-aged daughters need respect as a legal family during this agonizingly difficult time,” said Lambda Legal, which is representing the women. “It is wrong to block the marriages of all couples and it's a shameful display of cruelty towards Niki and Amy and their two children whose marriage is vital as they battle an aggressive cancer and fight to be together.”

Wednesday's ruling was handed down on the same day that an appeals court upheld a lower court's ruling striking down Utah's ban and one day before the one-year anniversary of the Supreme Court's decision striking down a key provision of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

(Related: Appeals court rules Utah's gay marriage ban unconstitutional.)