A group of pastors in the US state of Pennsylvania has urged its Governor to reconsider a decision not to appeal a ruling made by a judge to strike down a ban on same-sex marriage.

A 1996 state law defined marriage as between one man and one woman, but in a decision two weeks ago, US District Judge John Jones ruled that the ban was unconstitutional.

The Governor of Pennsylvania, Tom Corbett, a day later announced he would not appeal the ruling, which cemented same-sex marriage as law, given that there would be no further appeal against it.

Now the predient of the Pensylvania Pastors Network and the American Pastors Network Sam Rohrer, has criticised Judge Jones, and urged Governor Corbett to reconsider his decision not to appeal.

Rohrer said: “Let’s be clear, this ruling was made by one man – a federal district judge unelected and unaccountable. Politically appointed, never facing the voters and never answering to the press, many people in this position when unrestrained by moral truth, perceive themselves to be above the law… Indeed, their arrogance makes them appear as if they think they are God.”

The former state representative was speaking at the state capitol on Monday, and appeared accompanied by around two dozen heads of churches.

“This divine law established by God Himself created not only the concept of family but the very precise definition of marriage as being between one man and one woman,” he continued.

Describing the situation as one of “great seriousness”, he said: “The urgency of pushing back against an unrestrained and politically active federal judiciary must be done now and done with great energy.”