NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A federal judge has upheld Louisiana's ban on same-sex marriages, as well as the state's refusal to recognize gay marriages legally performed in other states.

U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman's ruling Wednesday broke a string of 20-plus court wins for supporters of same-sex marriage since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act last year. Feldman said gay marriage supporters failed to prove that the ban violates equal protection or due process provisions of the Constitution.

Feldman agreed with state attorneys who argued that states have the right to define marriage.

A spokesman for a gay rights group said an appeal is planned.