In rejecting an appeal from gay marriage foes hoping to put the District of Columbia's gay marriage law up for a vote, the Supreme Court has “violated” the rights of children, a Catholic group argues.

On Tuesday, the court announced without comment that it would not hear Bishop Harry Jackson's challenge to a D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics ruling that said putting the question of marriage up for a vote would violate the city's Human Rights Act (HRA) that prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation. In rejecting the referendum, the board said it would, if approved, authorize “discrimination in contravention of the HRA.”

Opponents had argued that the board overstepped its authority and that the citizens should have final say on such matters.

Jackson and his supporters took their case to the Supreme Court after the D.C. Court of Appeals said that the board was within the law in making such a decision. Jackson, a minister at the Hope Christian Church in Belstville, said the court's split decision (5 to 4) gave him reason to hope.

The socially conservative group Catholics for the Common Good chided the court for effectively upholding the board's decision.

“It is shocking that the U.S. Supreme Court did not accept the appeal of District of Columbia citizens who were deprived of their right to vote on the definition of marriage,” the group said.

“Already, 41% of children born today are deprived of a mother and father who have first chosen to make themselves irreplaceable to each through marriage.”

“This is a human tragedy and a violation of the rights of the child,” the group added.