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Gay Marriage Lawsuit Advances In Hennepin County

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- A lawsuit seeking to overturn Minnesota's current law against gay marriage is back before a Hennepin County judge who dismissed it months ago.

In January, the Minnesota Court of Appeals overturned Judge Mary Steenson Dufresne's dismissal. On Friday, she's hearing motions in the case as it moves ahead, even as a statewide vote on gay marriage approaches in November.

The lawsuit filed by three gay couples seeks to throw out the state's existing "defense of marriage" law. The amendment, if passed, would toughen that law by putting it in the constitution.

Gay marriage opponents say the lawsuit shows the need for the amendment. Most of the state's gay rights groups sympathize with the aim of lawsuit, but say it has little chance of success and gives ammunition to their opponents.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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