A US federal court has upheld traditional marriage in four states.
The ruling, from the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, overturned lower court decisions which had allowed gay marriages to take place.
The move to uphold marriage amendments passed by voters has been welcomed by the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), which called on the US Supreme court to “follow suit”.
Following the decision Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee will join Louisiana in continuing to define marriage as between a man and a woman.
One of the judges who made the decision, Justice Jeffrey Sutton, argued that changes to “such a fundamental social institution” as marriage should be left to “the American people and the democratic process”.
Brian Brown, President of NOM described the decision as a “tremendous victory” and said that Justice Sutton’s argument was a “common sense recognition” that the American people must be the ones who decide the issue.
Mr Brown urged the Supreme Court to tackle the issue of same-sex marriage soon.
Last month, the Supreme Court chose not to hear appeals from five states seeking to uphold the definition of marriage as between a man and a woman.
Since the decision, same-sex marriage has been made legal in eleven additional states.
Mr Brown said: “The justices of the Supreme Court were derelict in their duty when they refused to review the marriage cases previously before them”.
He added: “They now have no excuse. We call on the Supreme Court to stand for the proposition that men and women of good will across this land have the right under their constitution to preserve marriage in the law as it has always existed in reality, the union of one man and one woman.”
According to NOM, a poll conducted in North Carolina last week found that support for traditional marriage stands at 72 per cent.
Mr Brown believes that figures such as this demonstrate that same-sex marriage is a “creation of the elite” and “not something that is supported by the American people”.