The National Center for Lesbian Rights and a law firm have filed a federal lawsuit seeking marriage equality in Tennessee.
The NCLR and the firm of Sherrard & Roe filed the complaint in Nashville, Tenn., on Oct. 21 on behalf of four same-sex couples who want Tennessee to recognize their marriages.
Each of the couples were legally married before moving to Tennessee but the state won't recognize their relationships.
Dr. Valeria Tanco and Dr. Sophy Jesty are expecting their first child next spring.
Sgt. Ijpe DeKoe and Thom Kostura got married just before Ijpe was deployed for a tour of duty in Afghanistan. Now the only place their marriage is recognized in the state is on the military base in Tennessee, according to NCLR.
Their lawsuit argues that Tennessee's laws violate the federal Constitution's guarantees of equal protection and due process. The state has both a legislative and constitutional ban on recognizing same-sex marriage.
NCLR filed the suit the same day that same-sex couples in New Jersey began marrying and the governor of that state dropped a challenge to marriage equality.
Earlier this month, Oregon officials announced the state would recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages while Hawaii and Illinois lawmakers could take up equality bills soon.
Same-sex couples can legally marry in 14 states and the District of Columbia. Gay couples this year also have married in Pennsylvania and New Mexico, although legal challenges seeking marriage equality in those states have yet to reach conclusion.