Less than two weeks after the Supreme Court ruled the U.S. government could not deny federal benefits to legally-married same sex couples, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a challenge to Pennsylvania's ban on same-sex marriage in federal court.

The ACLU is representing 23 plaintiffs --10 gay couples, two children of one of the couples, and the surviving widow of a same-sex couple that was together for 29 years -- in a lawsuit it filed Tuesday in Harrisburg, Pa. James Esseks, who directs the ACLU's Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender & AIDS Project, said the group hopes to secure the right for gay couples to marry in Pennsylvania, force the state to recognize same-sex marriages performed elsewhere and ratchet up the legal pressure on the Supreme Court to ultimately rule on the question of whether same-sex marriage should be legal across the nation.