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US: Federal court rules against gay marriage bans in five more states

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A federal appeals court yesterday struck down same-sex marriage bans in a ruling which, if upheld, will mean gay and lesbian couples in five new states to allow gay and lesbian couples to marry there.

A decision by the US Supreme Court on Monday to reject seven pending appeals against same-sex marriage will allow same-sex couples to marry in as many as eleven new states.

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down same-sex marriage bans in a ruling which specifically referred to Idaho and Nevada, but which could also end same-sex marriage bans in Alaska, Arizona and Montana too.

If upheld, this would mean same-sex couples could marry in 35 US states, and the District of Columbia.

“The lessons of our constitutional history are clear: Inclusion strengthens, rather than weakens, our most-important institutions,” wrote Judge Stephen Reinhardt wrote for a three-judge panel.

“When same-sex couples are married, just as when opposite-sex couples are married, they serve as models of loving commitment to all.”

Those fighting against same-sex marriage have 30 days to file an appeal, although given the Supreme Court’s ruling on Monday, it is unlikely that an appeal would be taken up.

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