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PHOENIX -- Gay and lesbian couples challenging Arizona's ban on same-sex marriage are asking a federal court for a pretrial ruling in their favor.

The motion asked for summary judgment declaring that the ban violates constitutional protections for due process of law and equal protection under the law.

The lawsuit was filed in Phoenix in January on behalf of seven couples.

The case is one of two Arizona same-sex marriage ban challenges filed this year and pending in federal court in Phoenix.

Lawyers for the state denied that Arizona's ban violates constitutional rights.

Arizona lawmakers approved a state law barring same-sex marriages in 1996, and voters in 2008 amended the Arizona Constitution to include a ban.

Associated Press,

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