The D.C. Court of Appeals has ruled against letting voters have a say on gay marriage in the nation's capital.
The D.C. city council had legalized same-sex marriage earlier this year. But opponents of the measure worked to put an initiative up to vote that would have defined marriage as between one man and one woman.
City officials argued that a local human rights law forbid initiatives that allowed discrimination.
In Thursday's 5-4 ruling, the appeals court agreed that the measure does not have to be on the ballot.
Opponents say the ruling denies D.C. residents their most fundmental freedom, which is the right to vote
The issue could be challenged to the Supreme Court.