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Suzanne Artis, left, and Geraldine Artis, of Clinton, Conn., who are married and have children, listen intently during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing to assess the impact of the Defense of Marriage Act, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, July 20, 2011. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Proponents of same-sex marriage are likening their cause to the civil rights battles, calling once more for repeal of a 1996 law that defines marriage as between a man and a woman.

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