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In the Pennsylvania case, 10 same-sex couples and a lesbian widow are suing Gov. Tom Corbett and other state officials for enforcing a law that either blocks the plaintiffs from marrying or having their out-of-state marriages recognized.

The ACLU lawsuit says there are no reasons for Pennsylvania to keep its marriage law and that “neither tradition nor moral disapproval of same-sex relationships or marriage for lesbian and gay couples” should be used to deny people marriage licenses.

In North Carolina, the state’s ACLU announced it would be challenging the ban on same-sex marriages by amending a federal lawsuit filed last year on behalf of gay couples and their children.

Longtime gay-marriage advocate Evan Wolfson said there is “irrefutable momentum” to bring gay marriage throughout America.

He said advocacy groups will work “hand in glove” with litigation groups such as the ACLU and Lambda Legal, Mr. Wolfson said Tuesday. But there is also a need for “education on the ground,” he said, noting that Freedom to Marry, the marriage-equality group he founded, is already investing $500,000 in state marriage campaigns.