Alabama officials have asked the Supreme Court to indefinitely postpone implementation of a federal judge's orders striking down the state's ban on gay marriage.

U.S. District Judge Callie “Ginny” Granade declared the state's ban unconstitutional in two similar cases, both of which are set to take effect on Monday, February 9.

Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange turned to the Supreme Court after the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta denied his request to set aside Granade's rulings as the state pursues appeals.

The emergency request was filed late Tuesday with associate Justice Clarence Thomas, who oversees the Eleventh Circuit. Thomas is considered one of the court's most conservative justices.

In his request for a stay, Strange defended the state's ban by arguing that marriage makes “less sense” for gay couples.

“The interests supported by opposite-sex marriage are, at the very least, rational,” he wrote. “States are not in the marriage business 'to regulate love.' Instead, state marriage laws link children to their biological parents (and link these biological parents to each other) by imposing a package of privileges and obligations – such as presumptions of paternity – that make less sense in the context of same-sex relationships. It is not irrational or malicious for state laws to reflect an 'awareness of the biological reality that couples of the same sex do not have children the same way as couples of opposite sexes.'”

Strange also argued that allowing the rulings to take effect will cause confusion and further litigation, presumably against state officials who refuse to follow the order.

“A stay would serve the public interest by avoiding confusion among local officials and additional litigation in Alabama's other district courts. The law on this issue can only be settled by a ruling from an appellate court that is binding on all district court judges and state officials,” Strange wrote.

Without intervention by the Supreme Court, Alabama on Monday will become the 37th state, plus the District of Columbia, where gay and lesbian couples can marry.