CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont have joined more than a dozen other states in defending gay marriage as the Supreme Court prepares to hear two cases on the issue.
The Supreme Court will hear arguments next month on a challenge to California's gay marriage ban and a case involving the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as between a man and a woman for the purpose of deciding who can receive a range of federal benefits.
New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont have signed onto friend-of-the-court briefs in both cases defending the right to civil marriage for all couples.
Twenty-nine states have constitutional amendments banning gay marriage, while nine states - including the three northern New England states- and the District of Columbia recognize same-sex marriage.
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