Leading social conservatives are praising a federal appeals court's decision to refuse to allow gay and lesbian weddings to resume as it considers the constitutionality of Proposition 8, California's 2008 voter-approved gay marriage ban.

Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), the nation's most vociferous opponent of gay marriage, congratulated lawyers for the plaintiffs on their loss.

“This is good news for the people of California – and congratulations to the Dream Team of David Boies and Ted Olson for continuing their impressive streak of losses in actions not in Judge Walker's courtroom,” Brown said.

Proposition 8 overturned the California Supreme Court's 2008 ruling legalizing gay marriage in the state. NOM and its supporters campaigned heavily for passage of the constitutional amendment. The group also played a pivotal role in repealing a gay marriage law approved by lawmakers in Maine.

In praising the ruling, Tony Perkins, president of the socially conservative group the Family Research Council, took a swipe at President Barack Obama for his recent decision to no longer defend the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), a law which bans federal recognition of the legal marriages of gay and lesbian couples.

The court's decision “shows that, unlike the current administration, it respect the rule of law,” Perkins said in a statement.

“Ultimately, we are confident that the courts will recognize marriage, as correctly defined, has never violated any constitutional provision,” he added.