A federal lawsuit challenging Texas' ban on gay marriage will have its first hearing on Wednesday.

The lawsuit, filed by two gay couples, will be heard before a federal judge in San Antonio.

Cleopatra de Leon and Nicole Dimetman of Austin married in Massachusetts but a constitutional amendment approved by voters in 2005 prohibits Texas from recognizing their marriage. The law also prevents San Antonio couple Victor Holmes and Mark Phariss from marrying. The couple was denied a marriage license in November.

Phariss, a lawyer, and Holmes, an Air Force veteran, have been in a relationship for 17 years.

“We love each other and, like most straight couples who love each other, we want to get married,” Pharris told The Dallas Morning News.

Pharris said he's encouraged by the support the couple has received.

“This level of support is very encouraging and we hope this case does make a difference, not just for Vic and me, but for all Texans,” Pharris said.

The suit is among the nearly two dozen filed throughout the nation following a June ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court striking down a key portion of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) which prohibited the federal government from recognizing the legal marriages of gay and lesbian couples. Most of the cases have been filed in federal courts in hopes of reaching the Supreme Court.

Plaintiff couples are asking the court to immediately halt enforcement of Texas' ban on same-sex marriage. State lawyers have asked for the suit to be dismissed, arguing that Texas is “promoting the state's interest in responsible procreation and childbearing.”