National anti-gay marriage group seeks to intervene in Minnesota lawsuit

A Minnesota group seeking to maintain the state's ban on same-sex marriage will get help from a national conservative Christian group that has helped fight similar cases in other states.

The Alliance Defense Fund and the Minnesota Family Council said Thursday that they have requested to intervene in a lawsuit challenging the state's same-sex marriage ban. If their request is granted, they would become a party to the lawsuit and would have the ability to argue before a judge that the state's same-sex marriage ban should remain in place.

The lawsuit, filed in Hennepin County last month by three couples, argues that the 1997 Defense of Marriage Act that bans same-sex marriage violates the Minnesota Constitution. The couples have said the ban denies them freedom of conscience and equal protection under the law.

Jordan Lorence, senior counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund, said arguments made in the lawsuit filed by the three couples are "contorting" the state Constitution.

"There is no provision in the state Constitution that gives individuals the right to redefine marriage for themselves and then force everyone else in the state to accept that redefinition," Lorence said at a news conference Thursday with Minnesota Family Council President Tom Prichard.

The groups have first asked the plaintiffs and the Hennepin County Attorney to allow them to become a party in the lawsuit. If they don't agree, the matter would come before a judge.

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