The Supreme Court on Friday stayed a lower court's ruling ordering Utah officials 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.

Utah turned to the nation's highest court after a three-judge panel of the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver denied the state's request for a permanent hold on recognizing the marriages as it appealed a December 20 ruling striking down the state's ban on gay marriage to the Supreme Court.

A temporary stay put in place by the Tenth Circuit expires on Monday.

Utah filed its 81-page application for an emergency stay with Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who oversees the Tenth Circuit. She referred the request to the full court. In January, Sotomayor stayed the first ruling striking down Utah's marriage ban.

Utah Governor Gary Herbert, a Republican, called the court's decision “correct.”