A federal judge on Friday struck down Wisconsin's ban on gay marriage, saying it was unconstitutional.

“In reaching this decision, I do not mean to disparage the legislators and citizens who voted in good conscience for the marriage amendment,” U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb wrote in her 88-page decision. “Rather, it is necessary to conclude only that the state may not intrude without adequate justification on certain fundamental decisions made by individuals and that, when the state does impose restrictions on these important matters, it must do so in an even-handed manner.”

“This case is about liberty and equality, the two cornerstones of the rights protected by the United States constitution,” she added.

It was uncertain whether the decision would take effect immediately.

Evan Wolfson, president of Freedom to Marry, applauded Crabb's ruling.

“Today’s decision out of Wisconsin marks the twentieth consecutive ruling by a federal or state judge since last year that a discriminatory state marriage ban is unconstitutional,” Wolfson said in a statement. “Across the country, the courts agree: same-sex couples and their families need the dignity of marriage, and anti-marriage laws are indefensible. With over 70 marriage cases now making their way through the courts, today's decision in Wisconsin underscores that all of America is ready for the freedom to marry. It's time now for the Supreme Court to bring resolution nationwide.”

According to the AP, Milwaukee County Clerk Joe Czarnezki said he would keep his office open Friday evening in hopes he's given the green light to begin issuing marriage applications to gay couples. Wisconsin has a 5-day waiting period, but clerks can consider waiving the requirement with a $25 fee. Czarnezki said his office would waive the waiting period for gay couples.

Voters in 2006 approved a constitutional amendment which prohibits the state from recognizing same-sex couples with marriage or anything substantially similar.

(Brief provided by Equality Case Files.)