JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) _ Alaska Attorney General Craig Richards is asking a federal appeals court to not do anything with the state's appeal of a gay marriage ruling until the nation's high court weighs in.

A department spokeswoman Friday said this won't change the status of gay marriage; Alaska will continue to allow and recognize same-sex marriages.

The high court announced Friday that it will take up four gay marriage cases and decide whether same-sex couples nationwide have a right to marry.

In October, a federal judge in Alaska struck down this state's same-sex marriage ban. The state has appealed to the 9th Circuit Court.

In a statement, Richards said the U.S. Supreme Court's order makes clear the justices will address the same issues that are at the heart of the Alaska case.