Gay marriage battle could head to North Dakota

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BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota's ban on gay marriage is awaiting an almost inevitable legal challenge. Now leaders in the conservative state must decide whether to spend some of its vast oil riches on a court fight — a step they already took to defend another divisive social policy.

Six same-sex couples sued South Dakota this week over that state's ban. That left North Dakota as the only state not currently facing a lawsuit against its prohibition on gay weddings. Advocates for overturning the ban say it's a question of when, not if, one is filed.

And, considering the riches of the state's oil boon, North Dakota could be ready for the battle.

A former legislator who pushed for the ban says he's confident the state would appeal.

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