Groups for, against gay marriage stage dueling Austin rallies

In this 2013 photo, Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore talks to the crowd after being sworn into office, at the Heflin-Torbert Judicial Building in Montgomery, Ala. (AP Photo/, Julie Bennett, File)

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The Texas Capitol will be abuzz with talk of gay marriage as three groups hold dueling events both for and against same-sex rights.

Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore will headline a Monday afternoon rally sponsored by Conservative Republicans of Texas.

Staunchly opposed to gay marriage, Moore instructed Alabama's state probate judges to refuse to issue same-sex marriage licenses despite a federal court ruling that Alabama's same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional.

The group claims backing from 100-plus elected Texas officials. Also against gay marriage is the Coalition of African American Pastors, which will hold a Capitol news conference Monday.

Inside the Capitol, meanwhile, Equality Texas will mark Family Advocacy Day by lobbying lawmakers to support gay rights. Families also will share personal stories during an ice cream social.

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