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Many legal twists in Nevada gay marriage case

Many legal twists in Nevada gay marriage case

CREATED Feb 11, 2014

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) -- Nevada's decision not to defend the state's ban on gay marriage leaves a conservative group that pushed for the constitutional amendment to carry on the legal fight before a federal appeals court.

Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto announced Monday her office will not defend a voter-approved amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman.

Legal experts say what happens after the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals rules isn't clear. A ruling for the eight same-sex couples would make it less likely Nevada will become a national test case for the U.S. Supreme Court.

But others note that if the court rules in favor of the couples who argue Nevada's ban is unconstitutional, Nevada could still pursue an appeal to the nation's highest court for a definitive resolution.