Gay and lesbian couples started marrying in two Wisconsin counties after a federal judge on Friday struck down the state's ban on gay marriage.

U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb released her 88-page ruling late Friday just as PrideFest, Milwaukee's annual three-day Gay Pride festival, opened in Henry Maier Festival Park.

Crabb's order asked plaintiff couples what they wanted her to block, instead of ordering the state to allow gay couples to marry.

Republican Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen said the ruling did not clear the way for such weddings to begin. He also filed an emergency request to stay the decision as the state pursues an appeal.

Clerks in Madison (Dane County) and Milwaukee (Milwaukee County) began issuing marriage licenses to gay couples on Friday and continued on Saturday.

The union of Jose Fernando Gutierrez and Mathew Schreck in Milwaukee is believed to be the state's first same-sex marriage.

In making its request for a stay, the state argued that Crabb's ruling had created confusion and a “non-uniform result.”

“The Milwaukee and Dane County clerks' issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples this weekend creates the non-uniform result that some same-sex couples can marry and others cannot,” Hollen wrote.

Brown County Clerk Sandy Juno told the Green Bay Press-Gazette that she is not ready to start issuing marriage licenses to gay couples.

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