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Lawyers ask court to merge Arizona same-sex marriage cases

PHOENIX — Lawyers for plaintiffs in one of two pending lawsuits challenging Arizona's ban on same-sex marriage are asking a federal court to combine the suits.

A motion filed Monday in U.S. District Court said the cases should be consolidated because they involve the same legal issues and because consolidation would save time and effort.

The motion asked that a case filed earlier this month become part of the case from a separate filed in January.

The cases were assigned to different judges.

Lawmakers approved a state law barring same-sex marriages in 1996. Seven years later, an Arizona appeals court upheld the constitutionality of the law.

Voters in 2008 amended the Arizona Constitution to include the ban.

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