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.

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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.

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