Marriage between one man and one woman has been strongly backed by the Supreme Court of Alabama.
In a ruling on Tuesday, the court described traditional marriage as the “fundamental unit of society”.
The decision was welcomed by pro-marriage groups, and comes ahead of the Supreme Court of the United States considering the issue of same-sex marriage in April this year.
The Alabama ruling centred on a decision by a District Judge, Callie Granade, that led to gay marriages taking place in the state.
In January, she ruled against Alabama’s laws on marriage, but two pro-marriage groups appealed her decision.
Alabama Citizens Action Program was one of the groups that appealed Granade’s judgment, and it welcomed Tuesday’s ruling.
“We are concerned about the family and the danger that same-sex marriage will have”, said Executive Director Dr Joe Godfrey.
The latest judgment, backed by seven of the eight judges who considered the case, requires lower courts to stop issuing marriage licences for same-sex couples.
In a 2006 state vote, citizens of Alabama voted overwhelmingly in favour of marriage between one man and one woman.
Yesterday the date was announced for the US Supreme Court to begin considering oral arguments for a case on same-sex marriage.
It will start hearing the case on 28 April, with a decision expected by the end of June.