The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) has agreed to represent a gay couple challenging Alabama's ban on gay marriage.

James Strawser, 51, and John Humphrey, 38, were denied a marriage license in Mobile County, Alabama. The men said that they filed the federal lawsuit after Humphrey was told by hospital staff that they would not allow him to make decisions on behalf of Strawser, who faces significant health issues, despite having a medical power of attorney because he is not a family member or a spouse.

On Monday, U.S. District Judge Callie “Ginny” Granade ruled in the couple's favor, declaring Alabama's ban unconstitutional, just days after she had ruled similarly in a separate case. Both rulings are expected to take effect on Monday, February 9.

The couple told media outlets earlier this week that they could not afford an attorney.

In a motion filed Friday on behalf of the couple, NCLR attorneys asked the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta to deny the state's request to stay the ruling until the Supreme Court rules in cases challenging bans in Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky and Tennessee.

NCLR lawyers noted in their filing that the Supreme Court “has denied stays in every case in which a lower court has struck down a state marriage ban” since October 6, the day the high court refused to hear cases challenging bans in five states.

A stay is “unwarranted in light of recent decisions by the Supreme Court of the United States to deny stays pending appeal in similar cases, including a case from Florida in which this Court previously denied a stay,” NCLR lawyers argued.

“We are honored to represent Jim and John as they continue their fight to obtain the same family protections that other Alabama couples enjoy,” Christopher F. Stoll, NCLR senior staff attorney, said in a statement. “They have done a remarkable job standing up for their rights on their own, and we look forward to helping them make the strongest possible case on appeal. We hope the Eleventh Circuit will agree there is no legal basis to delay allowing Alabama couples access to the respect and protections of civil marriage, and that on February 9, Alabama will join the 36 other states in which all couples have the freedom to marry.”

Birmingham attorney Heather Fann is also representing the couple.