A federal appeals court will today hear arguments in a case to challenge the state of Oregon’s same-sex marriage ban.

The lawsuit challenging the ban was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in the state, on behalf of two gay couples.

Amanda Goad, staff attorney with the ACLU said: “We stand today with our friends and allies in Oregon in the fight for the freedom to marry.

“We trust that the court will do the right thing and allow Oregon to join the ever-growing number of states across the country that grant the same protections and dignity to these families as anyone else.”

In February, Oregon’s Attorney General, Ellen Rosenblum declined to defend the ban, arguing that it would not stand up to a constitutional challenge.

The National Organisation for Marriage has since sought permission to defend the ban in court, after the state declined to defend the law.

A 2004 constitutional amendment approved by 57% of voters to 43%, defined marriage as exclusively between one man and one woman.