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State: Gay Marriage Ban Serves Legitimate Purpose

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File photo of two men holding hands. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

File photo of two men holding hands. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

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CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — State lawyers for Gov. Brian Sandoval say Nevada’s constitutional ban on gay marriage serves a legitimate purpose of preserving traditional marriage.

The attorney general’s office late Tuesday filed a response with the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals over a challenge to Nevada’s definition of marriage.

A federal judge upheld the state’s prohibition on same-sex marriage in 2012. U.S District Judge Robert Jones tossed out a lawsuit filed by eight same-sex couples who argued an amendment passed by voters in 2002 defining marriage as between a man and a woman is unconstitutional.

Nevada’s fight over gay marriage comes as federal courts in other states have struck down similar measures, most recently in Utah and Oklahoma.

A bill repealing Nevada’s ban was approved by the 2013 Legislature but needs further action.

(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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