The appeal of a gay Ecuadorian couple denied a marriage license was heard on Tuesday.

In November, Santiago Vinces and Fernando Saltos were joined in Guayaquil by dozens of supporters as they applied for a marriage license at the civil registry office. While the government had 8 days to decide, the couple was informed the following day that they did not meet the qualifications to marry.

“That is a basic expression of the principle of equality,” Ramiro Garcia, the couple's lawyer, told reporters after Tuesday's hearing. “Two people who want to access the same right that any other couple can access.”

Judge Maria del Pilar Canales Santos said she would hand down her uling in the next couple of days.

Under the Ecuador Constitution ratified in 2008, gay and lesbian couples are recognized with civil unions, granting them all of the rights of marriage except for joint adoption. But marriage is reserved for heterosexual couples.

Pamela Troya and Gariela Correa made headlines in August when they applied for a marriage license and were also denied.

Harsh comments in May against allowing gay couples to marry from President Rafael Correa provoked an international backlash and led to the emergence of a campaign to legalize marriage for gay couples in Ecuador.

(Related: Ecuador's Rafael Correa opposes transgender bill as it could lead to gay marriage.)