Arizona attorney general say he won't fight court decision allowing gay marriages in the state

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PHOENIX — Arizona's conservative attorney general, Tom Horne, said Friday that he won't challenge a federal court ruling that allows gay marriages to go forward in the state.

Gay couples can immediately apply for marriage licenses in the state, he said.

Horne's announcement Friday comes hours after a District Court decision that strikes down a 1996 state law and a 2008 voter-approved constitutional amendment that outlawed gay marriage.

U.S. District Judge John Sedwick's decision came after the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling Oct. 7 that gay marriage prohibitions in Nevada and Idaho violated the equal-protection rights of same-sex couples.

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear appeals from several states seeking to retain their bans on same-sex marriage.

The move effectively legalized gay marriage in about 30 states.

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