US: Georgia seeks to have lawsuit challenging gay marriage ban thrown out

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The Attorney General in the US state of Georgia has asked a judge to throw out a lawsuit challenging the state’s same-sex marriage ban.

The lawsuit was filed in April by Lambda Legal on behalf of seven people. It seeks class action status.

Named in the lawsuit are the state registrar, a clerk of the Gwinnett County Probate Court, and a Fulton County Probate Court judge.

Voters in the state of Georgia in 2004 approved a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

Attorney General of the state Sam Olens, filed on Monday stating that the lawsuit takes away state voters’ right to define marriage as they see fit.

“But judicially imposing such a result now would merely wrest a potentially unifying popular victory from the hands of supporters and replace it instead with the stale conformity of compulsion,” the brief says. “This Court should reject Plaintiffs’ invitation to disregard controlling precedent, decline to anticipate a future ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court, and dismiss Plaintiffs’ claims in their entirety.”

A senior attorney for Lambda Legal said the arguments put forward by the Attorney General were “dead wrong”, and noted that other judges have already rejected such assertions.

“This is a strong indication the attorney general plans on defending the marriage ban regardless of the precedent lining up against him that the federal Constitution provides to all citizens the right to marry the person they love,” Littrell said.

The lawsuit challenges the ban, rather than the wording of the constitutional amendment.

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