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Partisan split marks high court gay marriage cases

BY MARK SHERMAN, ASSOCIATED PRESS

WASHINGTON -- No Democratic attorney general in a state that prohibits same-sex couples from marrying has signed onto a legal filing asking the Supreme Court to uphold California's constitutional ban on gay marriage.

No Republican attorney general is asking the high court to rule in favor of marriage equality.

The Republican leadership in the House of Representatives, supported by 10 GOP senators, is spearheading the defense of the federal law that prevents legally married gay couples from collecting a range of federal benefits otherwise available to married couples.

Some 212 Democrats and independents in Congress want part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act overturned. That includes two dozen who initially voted for it.

A continuing distinct partisan divide is present in the gay marriage cases at the Supreme Court, set for arguments March 26-27, even though a brief on behalf of more than 100 prominent Republicans calls for marriage equality. The split is most apparent in legal briefs filed with the court by state attorneys general.

All 21 attorneys general who have signed legal briefs or letters urging the court to uphold California's ban on same-sex marriage are Republican.

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