NC Rallies Put Local Face On Gay Marriage Push

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina advocates in favor of gay marriage are putting a local face on the issue as the U.S. Supreme Court decides the law of the land.

The Campaign for Southern Equality and other groups plan candlelight rallies Tuesday in Asheville, Charlotte, Greensboro, Hendersonville, Hickory, New Bern and Raleigh. Similar events were held over the weekend in Fayetteville, Winston-Salem and Wilson.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday hears a challenge to California's voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage.

Justices hear arguments Wednesday concerning the Clinton-era Defense of Marriage Act. The federal law defines marriage as the union of a man and a woman and therefore keeps legally married gay Americans from collecting a range of federal benefits that generally are available to married people.

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