Supporters of equal marriage in the US state of Utah have asked the Supreme Court to reject a request to put a stay on equal marriage in the state.

The US state of Utah earlier this week officially filed to ask the US Supreme Court to put on hold the issue of marriage licences to same-sex couples.

Last week , US District Judge Robert Shelby refused to block his own ruling making equal marriage legal in the state.

Now supporters of equal marriage have filed a brief appealing to Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor to allow same-sex marriages to continue.

Justice Sotomayor is responsible for emergency requests from Utah.

She has set a deadline of noon on Friday for legal briefs from same-sex couples. She may act alone or get other justices involved.

Many have noted that the longer the marriages go on, the less likely it will be for any court to put a stay on the ruling.

Last Friday, same-sex couples in Utah began queuing to marry after Judge Shelby ruled that the state’s equal marriage ban was unconstitutional.

About 900 gay couples had obtained licenses since Friday, with most of the activity in Salt Lake City.

Utah – better known for the Mormon Church than for progressive politics – was the 18th US state to legalise equal marriage.

The new Attorney General of Utah, Sean Reyes, attempted to justify the state’s decision to spend what is being estimated as at least $2 million (£1,200,000) of taxpayers’ money on challenging the ruling.

Just moments after being sworn in on Monday, Attorney General Sean Reyes told reporters that the state is ready to appeal US District Judge Robert Shelby’s landmark ruling by taking it to the US Supreme Court.

The state has come under heavy criticism for continuing to fight against the ruling.