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Opponents, supporters of Arkansas' gay marriage ban spar in court filings as hearing nears

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LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas — Opponents and supporters of Arkansas' ban on gay marriage are sparring in court filings over whether the state's constitutional amendment barring same-sex marriage serves a legitimate purpose and can be challenged at the state level.

Attorneys for the state and a group of same-sex couples filed competing arguments in Pulaski County court on Wednesday seeking summary judgment over the challenge to a constitutional amendment voters approved in 2004 defining marriage as between a man and a woman.

A hearing is scheduled on April 17 over the motions.

Attorneys for the state and the Faulkner County clerk argued in part that opponents can't challenge the ban in state court since it's enshrined in the Arkansas constitution. Opponents argue the ban violates the equal protection guaranteed under the constitution.

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