Sixty-five cases challenging state bans on gay marriage have been filed, leaving only five state bans unchallenged.

The count was published Thursday by Lambda Legal, the Boston-based legal group which specializes in LGBT rights.

Alaska, Georgia, Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota are the only states with bans that remain unchallenged.

However, two of those states, Alaska and Montana, are under the jurisdiction of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which is preparing to review challenges to bans in Nevada and Oregon. Officials in neither state are defending their bans in the cases.

All told, 550 plaintiffs are participating in the legal actions.

Forty-four of the cases have been filed in federal courts, a startling number considering marriage equality advocates steadfastly avoided federal courts, fearing a Supreme Court decision could set back the movement decades. A 2009 case settled last year challenging California's ban led the way to federal courts.