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WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration is asking the Supreme Court to overturn California's ban on same-sex marriage and turn a skeptical eye on similar prohibitions across the country.

The administration says unequivocally in a legal brief filed late Thursday that gay marriage should be allowed to resume in California, where it has been barred since the passage of Proposition 8 in 2008.

It does not explicitly call for marriage equality across the United States but points the court in that direction.

More immediately, the administration's position, if adopted by the court, probably would result in gay marriage becoming legal in seven other states that, like California, give gay couples all the benefits of marriage, but don't allow them to wed.

They are: Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon and Rhode Island.

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