New York’s highest court has rejected gay marriage, saying that denying marriage to same-sex couples does not violate the state constitution.

The New York court of appeals found that the state’s definition of marriage as a union between a man and a woman may have a rational basis, and that it was up to the state’s legislature, not the courts, to make any change, The New York Times reported.

The ruling covered four separate lawsuits filed by 44 same-sex couples who had argued that denying them the protection of marriage violated the state constitution.

New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg said he would campaign the state’s legislators to legalise same-sex marriage.

Also last night, Georgia’s state supreme court rejected gay marriage, upholding the state’s previous decision to ban it.

In 2004 the issue was put before Georgia voters in a referendum, with 76 percent approving a ban on same-sex marriage and civil unions.

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