Nevada Officials Won't Defend Gay Marriage Ban

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In an about-face, Nevada has decided against defending its constitutional ban on same-sex marriages, the latest step in a series of battles being waged across the nation on the volatile issue.

Nevada's attorney general and governor said Monday that they won't defend the state's gay marriage ban pending before a federal appeals court, saying a recent court decision made the state's arguments "no longer defensible."

Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto filed a motion with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals that said Nevada's legal arguments supporting the voter-approved prohibition aren't viable in light of the court's recent ruling that said potential jurors cannot be removed from a trial during jury selection solely because of sexual orientation.

"After thoughtful review and analysis, the state has determined that its arguments grounded upon equal protection and due process are no longer sustainable," Masto said in a statement.

Nevada's move comes as courts around the country and the federal government have chipped away at laws that prohibit same-sex marriage and benefits in recent months. Meanwhile, some states and interest groups have rallied to defend limiting marriage to between a man and a woman.

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