Two women who were refused a marriage license in Hawaii have filed a federal lawsuit, Honolulu's Star Advertiser reported.

Natasha N. Jackson and Janin Kleid filed their lawsuit against Democratic Governor Neil Abercrombie and the state's Department of Health in U.S. District Court on Wednesday.

The two women claim they were denied a marriage license on November 18. They allege the state violated their 14th Amendment rights to due process and equal protection in denying them the right to marry.

“Our clients want to marry,” said lawyer John J. D'Amato. “They want the state to tell us why they can't marry. They want the state to tell us what is it about being two women prevents them from marrying.”

In February, Abercrombie signed into law a civil unions bill which takes effect on January 1.

"If they want to pursue that through the legal channels that's fine but I work through the legislative channels,” Abercrombie said on Thursday. “I think that everyone is very very happy with our civil union's law. I'm going to put it into effect. I signed it. We're moving forward as quickly as we can and this January we'll be putting it into effect. If there are changes to be made we'll take it up in the course of the legislative sessions to come. I'm very very pleased with where we are, where we're going and where we're headed."

Gay marriage advocates won a landmark 1993 Hawaii Supreme Court case that struck down the state's law limiting marriage to heterosexual couples. However, in 1998 voters approved a constitutional amendment giving lawmakers “the power to reserve marriage to opposite-sex couples.”