A federal appeals court has rejected Alaska's request for a full court review of a judge's ruling striking down the state's ban on gay marriage.

On October 7, a 3-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco unanimously struck down bans in Idaho and Nevada as unconstitutional. The ruling affected all states within the court's jurisdiction, including Alaska, Arizona and Montana. Only Arizona and Nevada implemented the court's ruling without a fight.

Three days later, U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Burgess heard oral arguments in a case challenging Alaska's first-in-the-nation ban, approved in 1998. In ruling against the ban, Burgess said that it violates the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Plaintiffs in the case, Hamby v. Parnell, are an unmarried couple and four couples who married in a state where such unions are legal. Lead plaintiffs Matthew Hamby and Christopher Shelden (pictured) married in 2008 in Canada.

The state started issuing marriage licenses to gay couples after the Supreme Court refused to stay Burgess' ruling as the state pursues an appeal.

Outgoing Republican Governor Sean Parnell asked the Ninth Circuit for an en banc appeal, skipping the customary 3-judge panel. The state believes its arguments are more likely to prevail before a larger 11-judge panel.

Despite having criticized Parnell's defense as an “unwise”use of state funds, Governor-elect Bill Walker, an independent, said that his administration was evaluating whether to continue defending the ban in court.

“Despite my personal views on marriage, with the state's dire financial crisis, pursuing expensive litigation that has little chance of victory is an unwise use of our dwindling resources,” Walker said in October.

The state's bill has already surpassed $100,000 and could hit $359,000 if the state is ordered to pay plaintiffs attorneys' fees, the News Miner reported.

While the state's appeal won't be heard by an 11-judge panel, it remains active.