Two gay couples on Tuesday filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging the constitutionality of Oregon's gay marriage ban.

According to Portland alternative Willamette Week, the suit was filed in U.S. District Court by two attorneys representing a male gay couple and a lesbian couple. The suit names Governor John Kitzhaber and Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum as defendants.

Deanna Geiger and Janine Nelson, a couple in their 50s together more than 31 years, are asking the court to allow them to marry, while the other plaintiffs, Robert Deuhmig and William Griesar, are asking the court to recognize their Canadian marriage.

Measure 36 was approved by voters in 2004 with 57 percent of the vote. It defines marriage as a union of one man and one woman. In 2009, the Oregon Supreme Court denied an appeal to a case which upheld the amendment.

β€œWe would like a federal district judge in Oregon to find that there is no rational, legitimate or compelling governmental interest that would allow Oregon's anti-gay constitutional amendment to stand,” attorney Lake Perriguey told the paper. β€œIt will not withstand constitutional scrutiny.”

Marriage equality supporters in the state are campaigning to put the issue on next year's ballot.

Geiger said that she supported that effort but that a lawsuit might resolve the issue sooner.

(Related: Adidas endorses Oregon bid to legalize gay marriage.)