4th day of testimony challenging gay-marriage ban

In a March 5, 2013, file photo, April DeBoer, second from left, sits with her adopted daughter Ryanne, left, 3, and Jayne Rowse, fourth from left, and her adopted sons Jacob, 3, middle, and Nolan, 4, right, at their home in Hazel Park, Mich. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)
In a March 5, 2013, file photo, April DeBoer, second from left, sits with her adopted daughter Ryanne, left, 3, and Jayne Rowse, fourth from left, and her adopted sons Jacob, 3, middle, and Nolan, 4, right, at their home in Hazel Park, Mich. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)

DETROIT (AP) — A Harvard University professor has testified for two women challenging Michigan’s gay-marriage ban.

Nancy Cott says Michigan is falling behind other states by failing to recognize or allow same-sex marriage. She’s a historian who has studied marriage in America.

Michigan voters banned gay marriage in 2004, but two Detroit-area nurses are asking a judge to throw it out, saying it violates the U.S. Constitution.

The state attorney general’s office will start presenting witnesses Monday. The state has defended the constitutional amendment as a way to promote family stability through households led by a man and a woman.

Gay-marriage bans have been struck down in other states in recent weeks.

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