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Four same-sex couples file lawsuit in Tennessee challenging state law that prohibits gay marriage

BY LUCAS L. JOHNSON II
ASSOCIATED PRESS

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Four same-sex couples legally married in other states have filed a lawsuit challenging Tennessee's law that prohibits recognition of their marriages.

The lawsuit was filed Monday in federal district court in Nashville. It argues that Tennessee's laws violate the federal Constitution's guarantees of equal protection and due process.

Under a U.S. Supreme Court ruling, gay couples who are legally married in states that allow it are given equal federal footing with all other married Americans.

In Tennessee, however, marriage between partners of the same gender is prohibited by state law and constitutional amendment.

The filing Monday comes amid New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's decision to drop his legal challenge to same-sex marriage. The move makes it the 14th state to allow gay marriages.

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