Two women who have raised 3 children and have 4 grandchildren are at the center of a new federal lawsuit to win marriage equality in Nevada.

Beverly Sevcik, 73, and Mary Baranovich, 76, are the lead plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed Monday by Lambda Legal and Education Fund on behalf of eight gay and lesbian couples.

“They have seen each other through thick and thin, in sickness and in health, and after four decades of sharing a life together want to commemorate their love for each other as other couples do: through marriage,” Lambda Legal wrote in a profile.

Nevada lawmakers in 2009 overrode a veto from then-Governor Jim Gibbons to approve domestic partnerships, which provide gay couples some of the protections of marriage.

Lambda Legal staff attorney Tara Borelli told gay weekly Metro Weekly that the state's decision to deem gay couples “fit for all the rights and responsibilities of marriage through a lesser second-class status … shows just how irrational that state's decision is to shut same-sex couples out of marriage.”

The case, Sevcik v. Sandoval, represents a strategic legal shift for the legal group which in 2009 warned the American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER) against pursuing litigation in federal court, saying a loss in the U.S. Supreme Court would set back the marriage equality movement.

AFER, which has won two rounds in its legal battle to have California's gay marriage ban, Proposition 8, declared unconstitutional, is now supporting Lambda Legal in its case with a $25,000 contribution to the plaintiffs' legal fund.

“This case, like our challenge to Proposition 8, is about two things: marriage and equality,” AFER attorney Theodore J. Boutrous, Jr said in a statement. “Our Constitution guarantees all Americans the right to marry and the right to be treated with equal dignity and respect under the law. The Perry case and the new case in Nevada are important steps in securing this fundamental freedom.”

The case's 7 other couples include Antioco Carrillo and Theodore Small of Las Vegas, Karen Goody and Karen Vibe of Reno, Fletcher Whitwell and Greg Flamer of Las Vegas, Mikyla & Katrina Miller of Reno, Adele Terranova and Tara Newberry of Las Vegas, Caren and Farrell Cafferata-Jenkins of Carson City, and Megan Lanz and Sara Geiger of Las Vegas.