TRENTON - Gov. Chris Christie's administration is asking a judge to delay an order that New Jersey must allow gay marriage until an appeal can be decided.

Tuesday's request to Judge Mary Jacobson was expected.

Jacobson ruled last week that the state was violating its own constitution by denying same-sex marriage. She says state law is blocking New Jersey couples from receiving federal benefits.

The state Attorney General's Office is appealing to a higher court.

In the motion for a stay on Tuesday, the state's lawyers say that if Jacobson's ruling stands, it could be a blow to the state's ability to make its own laws.

Lawyers for the gay and lesbian couples suing for the right to marry have until Friday to respond.