Gay groups signaled Tuesday they would appeal a federal judge's order to surrender documents related to Proposition 8, the gay marriage ban narrowly approved by California voters in 2008, the AP reported.

Chief US District Judge Vaughn Walker upheld a magistrate judge's ruling requiring pro-gay marriage groups to hand over Proposition 8 campaign materials to defendants in the high-profile trial considering the ban's constitutionality.

In court papers filed Tuesday, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Equality California, the state's largest gay advocate and the lead group behind the campaign against the gay marriage ban, asked Walker to put a stay on his 24-page ruling while they appeal it to the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals.

The action is likely to delay closing arguments in the trial, which Walker has yet to schedule.

In its filing the ACLU said, “it is not their desire to delay resolution of this lawsuit” and argued that the documents are confidential internal communications protected by the First Amendment as political speech.

Walker's order “implicates issues of a fundamental nature under the First Amendment with consequences not merely for this case but for future election campaigns of all sort,” the ACLU said.

During the January trial, plaintiffs argued that Proposition 8 violates their constitutional rights. It is the first federal case to consider the constitutionality of a gay marriage ban and is expected to reach the Supreme Court.