A couple from Norfolk, Virginia have filed a federal lawsuit challenging the state’s ban on equal marriage.

Timothy B Bostic and Tony C London said they were turned down when they attempted to obtain a marriage licence on 1 July 2013, the AP reports.

The lawsuit filed by the couple argues that the unequal treatment of same-sex couples in the state denies equal protection and liberties supposed to be covered by the 14th Amendment of the US Constitution.

Defendants named in the lawsuit are Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli and Norfolk Circuit Court Clerk E Schaefer.

The lawsuit was filed last week in the US District Court in Norfolk.

In the 2006 general election, an amendment was added to the Virginia state Constitution banning same-sex marriage. 57% of voters approved the ban to 43%. 

Efforts are in motion to eventually repeal the ban.

Last week, a poll revealed that more than half of Virginia voters offered their support for equal marriage, with a clear majority of females approving of it.