Federal Judge Overturns Montana's Same-Sex Marriage Ban

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A federal judge has overturned Montana's ban on same-sex marriage, the Associated Press reports.

In an historic ruling, U.S. District Judge Brian Morris ruled that the state's constitutional amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman violated the U.S. Constitution's 14th Amendment's equal protection clause.

Morris' ruling comes after four Montana same-sex couples filed suit against the state in May. He said that his ruling was effective immediately. Two of the plaintiffs in the case were Angie and Tonya Rolando.

"Calling Tonya my partner, my significant other, my girlfriend, my perpetual fiancee has never done justice to our relationship," Angie Rolando told the AP. "Now I can look forward to the day when I can introduce her as my wife."

In September, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed similar rulings in Idaho and Nevada. The first marriage licenses were issued to same-sex couples in the Gem State Oct. 15 after months of legal wrangling.