The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans on Friday will hear appeals in cases challenging gay marriage bans in Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi.

U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia struck down Texas' ban in February; U.S. District Judge Carlton W. Reeves declared Mississippi's ban unconstitutional in November; and U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman upheld Louisiana's ban in August.

Plaintiffs in the Texas case are a lesbian couple who want the state to recognize their Massachusetts marriage and a male gay couple who wish to marry in Texas.

Victor Holmes and Mark Phariss of San Antonio (pictured) have been together for 17 years. The couple was denied a marriage license in 2013.

Plaintiffs challenging Louisiana's ban have also asked the Supreme Court to review the case, even before the Fifth Circuit has issued a ruling.

Two gay couples and the Campaign for Southern Equality are plaintiffs in the case challenging Mississippi's ban.

Lead counsel Roberta Kaplan also represented Edie Windsor in the landmark case that toppled a key provision of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

Last week, the Fifth Circuit announced the 3-judge panel which will hear all three cases. Two judges, Patrick Higginbotham and Jerry Smith, were appointed to the bench by President Ronald Reagan, while James Graves Jr. was appointed by President Barack Obama. Many analysts believe Smith, an extremely conservative judge, will uphold the bans.