A Washington D.C. judge has ruled voters will not decide if the District of Columbia will recognize same-sex marriages performed outside of the U.S. Capitol city.
Local ministers said they are greatly disappointed with the ruling, but are not shocked.
The judge affirmed an earlier ruling by the D.C. board of elections.
The board ruled that allowing voters the opportunity to decide on the issue of gay marriage would violate the district's human rights act.
The judge's decision strikes down a lawsuit filed by Bishop Harry Jackson of Hope Christian Church and six other plaintiffs.
However, gay marriage opponents said they are not giving up.
CBN News spoke with attorney Jordan Lorence of the Alliance Defense Fund.
"Now the voters will shift gears to effort to put an initiative on the ballot like Prop 8 in California to amend the D.C. city charter to say marriage is defined as one man and one woman to let the people decide this and take this out of the hand of the elitists that are controlling those at the city council," he explained.
Many believe the move to recognize same-sex marriages from outside the district is merely a precursor to an attempt to legalize it inside the district.
All this comes of course as President Obama shows increasing support for gay rights. At a reception earlier this week, he equated gay rights with civil rights.
"I've called on Congress to repeal the so-called Defense of Marriage Act to help end discrimination, to help end discrimination against same-sex couples in this country," Obama told the audience.
The president has already moved to extend some federal benefits to same-sex couples and he is also calling for a repeal of the military's Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy.