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Ohio gay marriage ban challenged in federal court

CINCINNATI (AP) — Civil rights attorneys are arguing that a federal judge should prohibit Ohio officials from enforcing the state's ban on gay marriage.

The attorneys will deliver closing arguments in the matter Friday before federal Judge Timothy Black in Cincinnati.

Their request goes far beyond their original and narrow February lawsuit asking Black to force Ohio to recognize gay marriage on birth certificates.

They're now asking Black for a ruling that would effectively strike down the state's gay marriage ban, passed by voters in 2004.

Attorneys for the state argue Ohio has a sovereign right to ban gay marriage and has the right to refuse to recognize same-sex marriages legally performed in other states.

In a limited ruling in December, Black ordered Ohio to recognize gay marriage on death certificates.

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