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Court urged to delay merging Arizona gay marriage cases

PHOENIX — Attorneys for plaintiffs in one of two pending lawsuits challenging Arizona's ban on same-sex marriage are asking a federal court to hold off on combining the suits into one case.

A motion filed last week in federal court in one of the cases said they should be consolidated. It said the cases involved the same legal issues and that consolidation would save time and effort.

However, a response by attorneys in the case filed first said their case is further along and that the court should defer any decision on consolidation until the first case's initial motions are done.

It also said there are differences in the cases, including that they share only one common defendant.

The two cases are now assigned to different judges.

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