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Legal fights over gay marriage spread across U.S.

BY BRADY MCCOMBS AND LISA BAUMANN
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

HELENA, Mont. -- A federal lawsuit filed by four gay couples in Montana leaves just two states — North Dakota and South Dakota — with gay marriage bans and no legal challenges aiming to overturn them. But that's likely to change as same-sex marriage advocates there gear up for a fight.

State marriage bans have been falling around the country since the U.S. Supreme Court last year struck down part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act. Now, in 29 states, judges are being asked whether gays should have the right to marry.

"At this point, I don't think that it matters, whether you're first or last. I don't think it matters at all. I think what matters is that we're all sending a message to either the Supreme Court or the legislators in Washington, D.C., that this has got to stop," Nancy Rosenbrahn of Rapid City, South Dakota, told The Associated Press Wednesday.

She and Jennie Rosenbrahn married in April in Minneapolis, and plan to sue in South Dakota to overturn that state's gay marriage ban.

In 19 states and the District of Columbia, gay couples can already wed, with Oregon and Pennsylvania becoming the latest to join the list this week when federal judges struck down their bans and officials decided not to appeal.

Here's a look at where things stand with other legal challenges across the country:

Click here to read more.

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