A group of nearly a dozen Virginia clergy gathered on Tuesday to voice their opposition to gay marriage.

At the 30-minute press conference held at the New Hope Church in Norfolk, religious leaders criticized a federal lawsuit challenging the state's marriage ban approved by voters in 2006 and Attorney General Mark Herring's decision to stand with the plaintiff couples.

(Related: Federal judge hears AFER case challenging Virginia's gay marriage ban.)

“God put us here to multiply. Man and man can't multiply. Woman and woman cannot multiply,” Katrina Chase said. “He told us to multiply and that we have to be fruitful. And that's what we want to do. … We will not accept same-sex marriage. Why? Because God will not accept it.”

“Same-sex marriage is a moral issue, not a civil rights issue,” said Bishop G. Wesley Hardy. “It threatens to destroy the divine intended structure of the family. … Rearing of children in an environment of two mothers and two fathers will lead to nothing but confusion and more moral problems.”

“Those who disagree with us are not Bible-believing Christians,” said Dr. Calvin A. Durham of the Virginia Christian Alliance.

Hardy later described being gay as a “sexual identification problem.”

“This is not an illness. It's a choice. It's a need the people have. They have sexual identification problems. They don't quite know where they are in this area,” he said. “I believe the church needs to show love. And we want to show love. But we can't show love by saying it's alright same-sex marriage. I don't think that's showing love. That's showing deception based on the word of God.” (A video report is embedded on this page. Visit our video library for more videos.)