DENVER (AP) — A federal judge in Denver has declared Colorado’s gay marriage ban unconstitutional, but he issued a temporary stay of the ruling to give the state a chance to appeal.

Judge Raymond P. Moore’s ruling Wednesday was in response to a lawsuit filed July 1 by six gay couples who asked the court for an injunction ordering that the state’s ban no longer be enforced.

Two plaintiffs in a lawsuit to overturn Colordo’s gay marriage ban, Cassie Rubald, left, and her partner, Rachel Catt, hold hands during a news conference outside the federal courthouse in downtown Denver on Tuesday, July 1, 2014. Six gay couples filed the lawsuit to ask for an injunction to stop all officials from enforcing the ban on gay marriage in Colorado. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Colorado Republican Attorney General John Suthers and Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper had requested a stay so the issue could eventually be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court — though both agreed the state ban should be declared unconstitutional.

The couples filed the lawsuit after the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver ruled against Utah’s gay marriage ban but put the ruling on hold pending an appeal.