Gay couples file equal-rights lawsuit against state of Mo.

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Eight same-sex couples from across Missouri filed a lawsuit Wednesday for equal rights. The American Civil Liberties Union made the announcement during a news conference in Kansas City.

The attorney for the ACLU said Missouri's laws are out of sync and public opinion has shifted on gay marriage. The eight couples who filed the lawsuit are challenging the constitutionality of the 14th Amendment.

There are 10,000 couples in the state who can't file taxes jointly, aren't recognized on death certificates and can't protect their families if a spouse dies because their marriage is not recognized.

James MacDonald and his partner have been together for 12 years and are raising their three-year-old daughter, Grace. They are hopeful that the decision by two federal judges to strike down gay marriage bans in Utah and Oklahoma will help their case.

Missouri voters approved the ban in Missouri back in 2004.

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