RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- Backers of North Carolina's ban on gay marriage have filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court supporting the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

The North Carolina Values Coalition filed an amicus brief this week arguing that overturning the 1996 law banning same-sex marriage would infringe upon the Constitutional liberties of Christians who believe that marriage is biblically ordained to be between only one man and one woman.

The justices are set to hear arguments in March on cases involving California's constitutional amendment forbidding same-sex marriage and the federal law denying gay couples who marry in states where it is legal the right to obtain federal benefits available to heterosexual couples.

North Carolina ratified a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage in a May referendum, with 61 percent voting in favor.

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