The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday put a hold on an appeals court's order declaring Virginia's gay marriage ban invalid.

“The application for stay presented to The Chief Justice and by him referred to the Court is granted, and the issuance of the mandate of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit … is stayed pending the timely filing and disposition of a petition for a writ of certiorari,” the court wrote.

Michelle B. McQuigg, clerk of Prince William County's Circuit Court, turned to Chief Justice John Roberts, who oversees the Fourth Circuit in Richmond, after a 3-judge panel of the court denied her request to stay its ruling.

(Related: Federal appeals court denies stay in Virginia gay marriage case.)

The Fourth Circuit's order was scheduled to take effect on Thursday morning. It would have also affected similar bans in West Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina.

McQuigg is represented by the Christian conservative Alliance Defending Freedom