The Supreme Court has issued a stay on a ruling granting same-sex marriages in Virginia. The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a district judge’s ruling that the state’s same-sex marriage ban was unconstitutional. Last week, that panel chose not to delay its ruling, and licenses for same-sex marriages were supposed to be issued in Virginia starting Thursday. However, Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring, a Democrat, had asked for the Supreme Court to issue a stay, preventing gay marriages from proceeding in the state. The Supreme Court agreed and acted in kind when Utah’s gay marriage ban was struck down. This pattern suggest the Supreme Court wants lower courts to weigh in more rather than to defer to the federal court decisions that have struck down gay marriage bans.