The New Jersey government is asking a judge to delay implementing an order allowing gay marriage.
Judge Mary Jacobson ruled last week that the state must recognize same-sex marriage starting Oct. 21 because that is what the federal law states.
However, the state says it is wrong for a lower court judge to reverse policy made by lawmakers.
"Never before has any court at any level declared that the validity of a state statute under the state constitution depends on the vicissitudes of a third party actor with whom the state has no nexus and over whom it has no control," the state said in a legal filing Friday.
Gov. Chris Christie's administration and Democrats alike want the matter to be fast-tracked to the state Supreme Court. Christie, who opposes gay marriage but favors civil unions, has said repeatedly that the question of whether to recognize same-sex nuptials should be put to a ballot question.
The state government is now seeking to prevent any gay marriages from being performed while the appeal is considered.