An Alabama gay man has filed a federal lawsuit to force Alabama officials to recognize his out-of-state marriage to another man.

Paul Hard married his husband Charles David Fancher in 2011 in Massachusetts, which became the first state to allow gay couples to marry in 2004.

Roughly 3 months after marrying, Fancher was killed in a car crash north of Montgomery, which led to a wrongful death case.

At a news conference Thursday to announcement the lawsuit, Hard said that hospital workers refused to acknowledge his marriage. He learned that his husband had died from a hospital orderly after about a half-hour of inquiries.

Fancher's death certificate lists him as unmarried.

“If I can spare one other person that kind of indignity and hurt, I would do it,” Hard said. “If I can let people know how this law unjustly and cruelly affects people, I will do it. And ultimately, I hope that these laws are overturned so that it no longer can give folks permission to treat Americans as second-class citizens.”

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama, seeks to overturn the state's 2005 voter-approved constitutional amendment which outlaws same-sex marriages from being performed or recognized in Alabama.

The lawsuit also demands that Alabama officials issue a corrected death certificate for Fancher that lists Hard as the surviving spouse.

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) is representing Hard in the lawsuit.

“Alabama has created two classes of marriages within its borders and deemed one of those classes – marriages between people of the same sex – to be inferior to the other,” David C. Dinielli, deputy legal director for the SPLC, said in a statement. “This is unconstitutional.”

The SPLC also contends that Hard is entitled to proceeds from the wrongful death case.

“The only purpose of refusing Paul the right to share in the proceeds from the wrongful death lawsuit is to punish him for having married a man, and to express moral disapproval of this choice,” Dinielli said.

Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard, a Republican, criticized the lawsuit, calling it “part of a coordinated liberal agenda that is designed to erode the conservative Alabama values that the citizens of our state hold close to their hearts.”