AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -

Texas has officially given notice it will appeal a federal judge's decision to lift the state's ban on gay marriage.

Thursday's notice of appeal contains no argument but formally signals that Attorney General Greg Abbot intends to challenge the ruling by San Antonio-based Judge Orlando Garcia.

Garcia on Wednesday issued a preliminary injunction against the ban, but then suspended his ruling to allow the state to appeal.

Two gay couples have challenged Texas' constitutional amendment and a longstanding law prohibiting same-sex marriage.

Abbott spokeswoman Lauren Bean said the state will eventually file a brief challenging Garcia's ruling to the 5th U.S. Court of Appeals in New Orleans. But she said that won't likely happen for several weeks.

Abbott is the top Republican candidate for governor.