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2 Couples Challenge Texas Gay Marriage Ban

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Jason PIckel and Darren Black Bear become the first openly gay married couple in Oklahoma by holding the ceremony on tribal land. (Getty Images)

Jason PIckel and Darren Black Bear become the first openly gay married couple in Oklahoma by holding the ceremony on tribal land. (Getty Images)

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Two same-sex couples are challenging Texas’ constitutional ban on gay marriage in a San Antonio federal court.

A federal judge could hear arguments as early as January as the case makes headway.

Attorneys for the couples said Wednesday that the Texas ban violates the rights of the couples to get married and enjoy all the legal benefits. They argue a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision suggestions bans on same-sex marriage violate the federal constitution.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has pledged to defend the law, which was approved by voters in 2005.

Another lawsuit by a same-sex couple married outside of Texas has asked the Texas Supreme Court for the right to divorce in Texas.

Sixteen states allow same-sex marriage, along with federal agencies including the Pentagon.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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