Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane on Tuesday cheered a federal judge's ruling striking down the state's ban on gay marriage.

Gay and lesbian couples started marrying following U.S. District Judge John E. Jones' ruling.

(Related: Pennsylvania begins issuing marriage licenses to gay couples after ruling.)

Kane, a Democrat, last year refused to defend the state's restrictive marriage law in Jones' court.

“This is an historic day. More importantly, today brings justice to Pennsylvanians who have suffered from unequal protection under the law because of their sexual orientation,” Kane said in a written statement. “When state-sponsored inequality exists, citizens are deprived of the full protections that the Constitution guarantees. Our Commonwealth progressed today and so have the hopes and dreams of many who suffer from inequality.”

“Today, in Pennsylvania, the Constitution prevailed. Inequality in any form is unacceptable and it has never stood the test of time. I have remained steadfast in my decision not to defend Pennsylvania's Defense of Marriage Act because I made a legal determination as to the unconstitutionality of this law. I am pleased that a learned legal mind such as Judge Jones ruled similarly.”