Anthony Sullivan is asking the federal government to recognize his 1975 marriage to another man.

Sullivan, a 72-year-old Australian native, and Richard Adams were among the handful of gay and lesbian couples allowed to marry in Boulder County when the clerk interpreted Colorado's gender neutral marriage statutes to include gay couples. The Colorado attorney general rebuked the clerk and declared the licenses null and void.

Adams tried to use the marriage to sponsor his husband for a green card.

“You have failed to establish that a bona fide marital relationship can exist between two faggots,” the former Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) wrote in denying their request.

The couple sued the federal government to recognize their marriage. After a decade of litigation, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against them.

Sullivan – without his husband who died in 2012 – on Monday will ask the Los Angeles Field Office of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to reopen the case.

“We are asking the government to reopen and reconsider the denial of the marriage-based green card petition filed by Richard Adams in 1975 and to approve that petition,” said Lavi Soloway, who is representing Sullivan. “In doing so, the Immigration Service will fulfill the promise of equality guaranteed by the Constitution. Granting our motion and approving this petition is consistent with the recent policies of the administration and the Immigration Service to recognize the marriages of same-sex couples. The widows and widowers of gay and lesbian Americans who seek to resolve their immigration status must have access to the provisions of law already available to other surviving spouses of U.S. citizens who are permitted to self-petition for a green card.”

Following last year's Supreme Court decision striking down a key provision of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the federal government announced that it would recognize the marriages of gay couples.

(Read more about this case at the DOMA Project.)