ST. PAUL, Minnesota, March 9, 2011 ( – A state district judge has rejected a bid by homosexual activists to overturn the state’s Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), saying that she could not ignore “binding precedent” defending the institution of marriage in Minnesota.

District Judge Mary Dufresne of Hennepin County ruled Monday that a 1971 state Supreme Court precedent protected the state’s DOMA as constitutional, according to Minnesota’s Star-Tribune. That decision, Baker vs. Nelson, had found that the law does not violate the rights guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution.

Unless and until the Minnesota Supreme Court reverses its ruling, Dufresne concluded, “Same-sex marriage will not exist in this state.”

Three couples sued Hennepin County Registrar Jill Alverson and the State of Minnesota in May 2010 after they were refused marriage licenses.

The leader of the lawsuit is Doug Benson, executive director of Marry Me Minnesota, an organization that seeks to sue the state into legalizing same-sex unions.

Benson told the Star-Tribune that he intends to appeal the ruling, saying Defresne gave the “back of the hand to thousands of gay and lesbian couples across the state” by refusing to overturn the law.

Chuck Darrell, communications director for the Minnesota Family Council, however, told the Star-Tribune that Benson and other homosexual activists have been petitioning Gov. Mark Dayton and Attorney General Lori Swanson to refuse to defend the state’s law, following the example set by President Barack Obama and the US Justice Department, who recently announced their refusal to defend the federal DOMA.

“This, coupled with several bills introduced in the Legislature last year to legalize same-sex marriage, is why we need to protect marriage with a marriage amendment,” Darrell said.

In a recent op-ed by Archbishop John Nienstedt, the leader of Minnesota’s Catholics (25 percent of the state population), he pointed out, “Marriage exists in civil law primarily in order to provide communal support for bringing mothers and fathers together to care for their children.”

Nienstedt said that for this reason heterosexual unions are favored in law, because “same-sex unions cannot serve this public purpose.”

The prelate predicted that like no-fault divorce, legalizing same-sex “marriage” could have an unanticipated fall-out that would harm the social purpose of marriage to rear children, because the institution will be reduced to “simply a union of consenting parties.”