ROME — Italy's Constitutional Court on Wednesday rejected legal recognition of gay marriage, saying arguments in its favour were either "unfounded" or "inadmissible."

Courts in Venice and Trento in the northeast sought the court's opinion after gay rights groups questioned whether the bar to same-sex marriage was a violation of human rights enshrined in the constitution.

They also argued that the bar may flout European and international obligations, and that the constitution does not explicitly prohibit same-sex marriage.

The Italian Forum of Family Associations hailed the ruling, saying the court had "chosen in favour of the good of society."

But a group advocating gay marriage vowed to continue the struggle, "carrying it forward, both in the courts and in society, until the full equality of homosexuals is recognised in civil marriage law."

The Constitutional Court will issue a detailed opinion in the coming days.