Activists to Sam Olens: Drop gay marriage fight

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UPDATE | Georgia argues gay marriage not ‘fundamental right’

A group of LGBT activists and gay families, armed with more than 3,000 petitions, called on Georgia Attorney Sam Olens to decline to defend the state's same-sex marriage ban on Monday, the same day he's expected to fire back against a federal lawsuit seeking to overturn it.

The group of about 20 people, organized by Georgia Equality, delivered the 3,080 signatures to the steps of Olen's office across from the State Capitol on Monday morning. The online effort called on Olens “to do the right thing and avoid wasting taxpayer money defending the indefensible.” The group included gay couples and their children, along with plaintiffs in a federal lawsuit filed in April challenging the ban.

“We do feel that it's important that we do put the pressure on Sam Olens,” says Jeff Graham, Georgia Equality's executive director. “We do fully expect that he will continue with his defense of the marriage ban but that he needs to know that his decisions are having an impact on Georgia families. We really do expect that he needs to respect all of our families and work for all people in Georgia. The way to do that in this instance is to not waste taxpayer dollars and drop his defense.”

Troopers with the Georgia State Patrol refused to allow the gathering past a security checkpoint to deliver the petitions to Olens' office. But a representative from the office came out to collect them.

Olens faces a Monday deadline to file the state's response to the federal lawsuit. The conservative attorney is widely expected to defend the ban despite similar legal challenges succeeding in several other states in recent months.

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