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Georgia seeks dismissal of lawsuit against same-sex marriage ban; voters OK'd measure in 2004

Georgia's attorney general is asking a judge to dismiss a federal lawsuit filed by a gay rights group challenging the state's constitutional ban on same-sex marriages.

Attorney General Sam Olens said in a filing on Monday that the suit takes away Georgia residents' right to define marriage. Lambda Legal sued in April on behalf of seven people.

Georgia voters in 2004 overwhelmingly approved a constitutional ban on gay marriage. It was challenged in courts over wording of the ballot question, but the state Supreme Court ruled in 2006 that the vote was valid.

The state constitution prohibits same-sex marriage and those performed in other states aren't legally recognized in Georgia.

Same-sex marriage is legal in 19 states and the District of Columbia.

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