Campaigners have filed a federal lawsuit challenging Alabama’s ban on same-sex marriage.

The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Alabama jointly filed a case on Tuesday on behalf of April and Ginger Aaron-Brush of Birmingham.

The couple had married in Massachusetts but their marriage is not recognised in their home state.

“The word marriage, in itself, brings validity and respect to any committed relationship,” said April Aaron-Brush. “One’s marriage status shouldn’t change simply by crossing state lines. Gay couples seek to be married for the very same reasons that opposite-sex couples choose to be married – love, honour and commitment.”

The lawsuit was filed in Birmingham at the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama.

“There needs to be marriage equality in Alabama for the sake of family security and family protection,” said Ginger Aaron-Brush.

“All loving and committed couples deserve the dignity and protections that come with marriage, no matter where they live,” said Susan Watson of the ACLU of Alabama. “It’s time for marriage equality to come to Alabama.”

A separate challenge to Alabama’s ban was filed in February by a Montgomery man whose partner died in a car crash after they were married in Massachusetts. He wants Alabama to recognise him as the surviving spouse.

A third lawsuit was filed in May and involves a lesbian couple who want their marriage recognised so they can both be legal parents to their son.