A case challenging Georgia's ban on gay marriage moves to an appeals court after a federal judge refused the state's request to stay the case until the Supreme Court rules in four similar cases.

U.S. District Judge William Duffey handed down a partial ruling on January 8. Duffey denied a motion from the state to dismiss the case but also found that the ban did not violate the Fourteenth Amendment.

The case will join others from Alabama and Florida currently before the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta.

The case, Innis v. Aderhold, was announced in April at a press conference organized by Lambda Legal.

Christopher Inniss and Shelton Stroman of Snellville, an Atlanta suburb, are the lead plaintiffs in the case. The men have been together 13 years and are raising their 9-year-old adopted son, Jonathan.

In 2006, the Georgia Supreme Court ruled valid Georgia's 2004 voter-approved constitutional amendment which defines marriages as a heterosexual union and prohibits the state from recognizing the out-of-state legal marriages of gay couples.

(Read the order, provided by Equality Case Files.)