Social conservatives have criticized a federal judge who on Thursday declared Virginia's ban on gay marriage invalid.

U.S. District Judge Arenda Wright Allen stayed her ruling declaring the state's ban unconstitutional.

(Related: Judge strikes down Virginia's ban on gay marriage.)

As marriage equality advocates, including the two couples who filed the case, celebrated, foes attacked Wright Allen and her ruling.

“It appears that we have yet another example of an arrogant judge substituting her personal preferences for the judgment of the General Assembly and 57 percent of Virginia voters,” said Tony Perkins, president of the Christian conservative Family Research Council (FRC). “Our nation's judicial system has been infected by activist judges, which threaten the stability of our nation and the rule of law.”

Perkins added that allowing gay couples to marry will “create a level of inequality that has never been seen in our country as people are forced to suppress or violate the basic teachings of their faith.”

Mat Staver, founder of Liberty Counsel and Liberty University Law School, called the ruling “outrageous” and “legally flawed.”

“Judges would be well-served to read the U.S. Constitution and not invent or rewrite it,” Staver said. “The Constitution cannot be changed by the stroke of a judge's pen, nor does it bow to a judge's personal ideology.”

The Family Foundation of Virginia accused Wright Allen of rushing her decision to put on a “political show.”

“This rushed release just prior to Valentine's Day reeks of political show, making her ruling less a legal argument and more a press release,” the group said in a statement. “It's disappointing that a federal judge would so blatantly expose her personal political agenda at the expense of not just marriage, but our entire social fabric.”

(Related: NOM's Brian Brown: Judge in Virginia gay marriage ruling “twisted” the Constitution.)