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April 24, 2014

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Judge to hear challenge of Texas’ gay marriage ban

Updated Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014 | 11:43 p.m.

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A federal judge is expected to hear arguments in a lawsuit challenging Texas' ban on same-sex marriage.

Attorneys for two homosexual couples will ask U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia on Wednesday to immediately lift the ban while a trial takes place. They say the law unconstitutionally discriminates against them because of their sexual orientation.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, who is running for governor, opposes legalizing gay marriage. He has promised to defend the constitutional amendment, which was approved by Texas voters in 2005. It defines marriage as between one man and one woman.

Civil rights groups recently won injunctions against similar bans in two other conservative states — Utah and Oklahoma — but the U.S. Supreme Court has allowed them to remain in effect pending an appeal.