Gay marriages in California won't resume until two courts decide the constitutionality of the state's ballot measure that defined marriage as between one man and one woman.
California voters passed Proposition 8 in 2008 but the measure has faced numerous legal battles since.
Last month, California Attorney General Kamala Harris joined gay rights advocates in asking the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to lift a hold on a lower court's ruling against the gay marriage ban.
Had the hold not been in place, gay marriages would have resumed. A three-judge panel denied the request by gay rights advocates.
Protect Marriage, the conservative group that sponsored Prop 8, said the court's order avoids "the unnecessary confusion that would come from another brief legalization of same-sex marriage."
The California Supreme Court will hear arguments in September on whether Protect Marriage can legally appeal the lower court ruling against Prop 8.
It will likely take several months after that before the case returns to the federal court.