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Wednesday, August 9, 2006 - Page updated at 11:59 AM

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Gay couples ask for more time to consider challenge

The Associated Press

OLYMPIA — Lawyers for gay and lesbian couples will get two more weeks to possibly challenge the state Supreme Court's ruling upholding Washington's gay marriage ban.

Plaintiffs' attorneys still haven't decided whether to ask the high court to reconsider its 5-4 decision, which held that the state's law limiting marriage to heterosexual couples was constitutional.

The court has agreed to move the deadline for a reconsideration filing from Aug. 15 to Aug. 29, while the lawyers consider their next move.

"The longer we have to think about it, the better off we are," said Lisa Stone, director of the Northwest Women's Law center. "We are analyzing every conceivable option, and nothing's off the table at this point."

Supreme Court justices rarely agree to revisit a ruling, lawyers in the case said.

"It's an important case, so I think the court's obviously going to keep treating it that way," said Assistant Attorney General Bill Collins, who defended the state's Defense of Marriage Act in court.

Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company

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