A state appeals court on Friday ruled that lawmakers did not violate any laws when they conducted closed-door negotiations on New York's gay marriage law.

The Appellate Division of the state Supreme Court in Rochester ruled against a challenge filed by New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms, a group which had lobbied lawmakers to reject the law, who argued that Republican state senators violated New York's open meeting rules whey they met behind closed door with gay marriage supporters, including Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, ahead of the law's passage last year.

“The court's decision affirms that in our state, there is marriage equality for all, and with this decision New York continues to stand as a progressive leader for the nation,” the AP quoted Cuomo as saying.

The court ruled unanimously that the Republican caucus with invited guests was exempt from the law's provision which requires public access to the deliberations of legislative bodies.

“In the event that we were to adopt plaintiffs' limited definition of 'guests,' it would be impossible for a Democratic member of a governor's office, such as a budget director, to speak to a majority Republican caucus,” the court said in its decision.

The Rev. Jason McGuire, executive director of New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms, called the decision a “disappointment” but did not say whether his group would pursue an appeal.

“It's a disappointment, because this gives a green light to the politicians to [use] strong arm tactics behind closed doors and shut out the people from the process,” said Mathew Staver, founder of Liberty Counsel, which represented the group.