A federal judge has signaled he's ready to rule on a challenge to Louisiana's gay marriage ban.

LGBT rights group Forum for Equality Louisiana filed the case in February on behalf of four gay couples who say the state's refusal to recognize their out-of-state marriages violates the U.S. constitutional guarantees of equal protection and due process. The case was consolidated with a similar challenge involving two gay couples.

U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman, who was nominated to the bench by Republican President Ronald Reagan, heard arguments in the case last month in New Orleans.

Feldman has already stated that he wants to broaden the case's scope to include whether gay couples should be allowed to wed in the state, saying it would be unfair to rule “piecemeal.”

“I feel uncomfortable resolving some issues one way or the other and not all the issues one way or another,” Feldman said at the end of last month's 90-minute hearing.

According to NBC affiliate KTAL, Feldman last week issued an order stating he needs no further briefs or argument to decide the case.

An overwhelming majority (78%) of voters approved Louisiana's 2004 constitutional amendment which states that marriage “shall consist only of the union of one man and one woman” and prohibits state officials and judges from recognizing the out-of-state marriages of gay couples.

The Louisiana Supreme Court upheld the amendment in 2005.