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RALEIGH, N.C. --The American Civil Liberties Union is launching a new legal assault on North Carolina's constitutional ban on marriage for same-sex couples.

The group said Wednesday that it is urging a federal judge to quickly negate the state ban to help children as well as gay couples suffering from urgent health problems and struggling with insurance and other restrictions.

ACLU staff attorney Elizabeth Gill says the argument is similar to an Ohio case brought by a gay couple in which one man was terminally ill. A federal judge last year ordered Ohio to recognize out-of-state gay marriages on death certificates.

Federal judges have struck down bans in Michigan, Utah, Texas, Oklahoma and Virginia.

The ACLU provided the following information in a news release:

In 2012, the ACLU filed a federal lawsuit in Greensboro on behalf of six families headed by same-sex couples that challenged the state's ban on second parent adoption, where one partner in an unmarried gay or straight couple adopts the other partner's adoptive or biological child. In 2013, the ACLU added an additional claim to that lawsuit that directly challenges North Carolina's ban on marriage for same-sex couples. The case is Fisher-Borne et al. v. Smith.
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