Gay and lesbian couples started marrying on Monday in Oregon following a federal judge's ruling striking down the state's gay marriage ban as unconstitutional.

In a decision that surprised nobody and took effect immediately, U.S. District Judge Michael McShane declared the state's 2004 voter-approved constitutional amendment limiting marriage to heterosexual couples in violation of “the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution.”

(Related: Federal judge strikes down Oregon's gay marriage ban.)

Julie Engbloom and Laurie Brown of Portland were the first couple to marry.

According to The Oregonian, the women – together since 2007 – asked Judge Beth Allen about six months ago whether she would be willing to marry them. Allen replied, “Gosh, yes.” (A brief video of the three after the ceremony is embedded on this page. Visit our video library for more videos.)

Hundreds of additonal gay couples are expected to marry in Oregon on Monday.