WASHINGTON - The US Supreme Court on Monday halted gay marriage in Utah by granting a request from state officials appealing a lower-court ruling that allowed same-sex weddings to go ahead in the heavily-Mormon state.

The decision by the court means that gay weddings in the state are now on hold while the case is appealed to the Denver-based 10th US Circuit Court of Appeals. Hundreds of gay couples in Utah have received marriage licenses since the Dec. 20 ruling by US District Judge Robert Shelby.