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MADISON, Wis. (AP) — State attorneys have asked a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit challenging Wisconsin's gay marriage ban.

The American Civil Liberties Union filed the lawsuit on behalf of a group of gay couples. They allege the ban is unconstitutional and state law makes it a crime for gay couples who marry out-of-state to return to Wisconsin.

State Justice Department attorneys filed a brief Thursday asking U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb to throw the case out. They contend the right to marry doesn't include the right to gay marriage. They also argue the ban doesn't nullify gay marriages performed out of state — it simply doesn't recognize them — and plaintiff couples who married out-of-state aren't in danger of being prosecuted.

ACLU attorney John Knight didn't immediately return a message.