A federal judge on Wednesday upheld Louisiana's ban on gay marriage.

“Same-sex marriage is not recognized in Louisiana and is reasonably anchored to the democratic process,” U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman said in his 32-page ruling.

Feldman, who was nominated to the bench by Republican President Ronald Reagan, heard arguments in the case in June in New Orleans.

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.

In hearing the case, Feldman said he wanted to broaden the case's scope to include whether gay couples should be allowed to wed in the state.

“I feel uncomfortable resolving some issues one way or the other and not all the issues one way or another,” Feldman said at the time.

In his ruling, Feldman said that plaintiffs had failed to prove that the ban violates the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and said that he agreed with state attorneys who argued that the ban serves a legitimate purpose.

“Defendants rejoin that the laws serve a central state interest of linking children to an intact family formed by their biological parents,” he wrote. “Of even more consequence, in this Court's judgment, defendants assert a legitimate state interest in safeguarding that fundamental social change, in this instance, is better cultivated through democratic consensus. This Court agrees.”

The decision breaks a string of victories in federal courts for marriage equality supporters since the Supreme Court last June struck down a key provision of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

Evan Wolfson, president of Freedom to Marry, criticized the ruling, saying it underscores the need for the Supreme Court to take up the issue.

“Loss in LA is why couples should not have to fight state by state, case by case, year by year,” he messaged. “Time for #SupremeCourt to rule nationwide.”

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.