The state of Alaska has filed a brief defending its same-sex marriage ban, claiming that it does not violate the rights of any couples.

A lawsuit was filed by five gay and lesbian couples in the state last month, which alleges the state’s 1998 ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional, because it violates their rights to due processes and equal protection.

In 1998, voters approved the bill by a 68-32 percent margin.

The state’s response this week claims that as a ‘sovereign state’, there is no jurisdiction for the court to challenge Alaska’s laws based on the US Constitution.

It reads: “Alaska has the right as a sovereign state to define and regulate marriage.

“Alaska voters had a fundamental right to decide the important public policy issue of whether to alter the traditional definition of marriage as between one man and one woman.”

Plaintiff Matthew Hamby said he took a stand because “it’s important to us that our family is recognized by the State of Alaska and that we have the same rights and privileges as others.”

In April, Alaska’s Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples deserve equal access to a tax benefit as straight couples.

There are no remaining states with a same-sex marriage ban which aren’t facing a legal challenge.