A federal judge on Tuesday struck down Idaho's ban on gay marriage.

“After careful consideration, the Court finds Idaho's Marriage Laws unconstitutional,” wrote Chief U.S. Magistrate Judge Candy W. Dale in her 57-page ruling.

Plaintiffs in the lawsuit are four gay couples who assert that Idaho's 2006 voter-approved constitutional amendment limiting marriage to heterosexual couples cannot stand in light of the 2013 Supreme Court ruling that struck down a key provision of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Idaho's amendment bans same-sex marriage and civil unions. Similar prohibitions appear in state statutes.

Dale added that Idaho's ban denies “same-sex couples the economic, practical, emotional, and spiritual benefits of marriage, relegating each couple to a stigmatized, second-class status. Plaintiffs suffer these injuries not because they are unqualified to marry, start a family, or grow old together, but because of who they are and whom they love.”

The ruling comes less than 4 days after a judge declared invalid Arkansas' ban.

(Related: Arkansas asks state Supreme Court to stay gay marriage ruling.)

Tuesday's ruling takes effect 9 AM Friday.

In a statement, Governor Butch Otter, a named defendant in the case, Latta v. Otter, called the decision “disappointing.”

“Today's decision, while disappointing, is a small setback in a long-term battle that will end at the U.S. Supreme Court. I am firmly committed to upholding the will of the people and defending our Constitution,” said Otter, who has already filed a motion requesting an immediate stay to the order.

The couples, all of whom are from Boise, are represented by the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and Boise-based attorneys Deborah A. Ferguson and Craig Durham.

“Today's decision affirms the fundamental principles of equality and fairness and the common humanity of gay and lesbian people,” Ferguson said in a statement. “As the Court recognized, these families are part of Idaho's community, and equal protection requires that they be given the same legal protections and respect as other families in this state. The Court's ruling is a victory not only for the courageous couples who brought this case, but for everyone who cares about freedom and fairness.”

The couples, three of whom are raising children, are Sue Latta and Traci Ehlers, Lori and Sharene Watsen, Sheila Robertson and Andrea Altmayer and Amber Beierle and Rachael Robertson.

(Brief provided by Equality Case Files.)