The Wisconsin Supreme Court has upheld the state's constitutional ban on gay marriage and civil unions.
In a 7-0 ruling, the court on Wednesday ruled that the 2006 constitutional amendment was properly put to voters in a statewide referendum.
The court rejected a lawsuit that claimed the amendment violated a rule that limits referendum questions to a single subject. The lawsuit, filed by a voter opposed to the amendment, argued that gay marriage and civil unions were two different subjects.
Justice Michael Gableman said both sentences "carry out the same general purpose of preserving the legal status of marriage in Wisconsin as between only one man and one woman."
Katie Belanger, executive director of the gay-rights group FAIR Wisconsin, said her group hasn't given up. "We are gaining support and building momentum for the eventual repeal of this amendment through the legislative process and the eventual and a subsequent ballot initiative again in the coming years," she said.
Wisconsin is one of 30 states that have adopted constitutional amendments defining marriage as between only one man and one woman.
Supporters of the ban say there's still more work to do to protect traditional marriage.
Julaine Appling of Wisconsin Family Action said her group now hopes to eliminate the recently established state domestic partnership registry, which grants couples some but not all of the legal benefits available to married couples.
"The domestic partnership registry as crafted by Gov. Doyle and signed into law by Gov. Doyle clearly violates the will of the people when they said they don't want a legal status created in the state that looks like marriage," she said.
About 15,000 couples have signed up for the registry since August of last year.
Gil Halsted of Wisconsin Public Radio contributed to this report, which contains material from The Associated Press