Gay and lesbian couples can begin marrying in Wyoming on Tuesday morning.

Citing cases out of the Tenth District Court of Appeals which struck down restrictive state marriage bans in Utah and Oklahoma, U.S. District Judge Scott W. Skavdahl on Friday declared Wyoming's ban unconstitutional.

In his 16-page ruling, Skavdahl said the “preferred forum” for addressing whether gay couples should be allowed to marry is the “arena of public debate and legislative action.”

“However, that ship has sailed,” he added. “It is not the desire or preference of this Court to, with the stroke of a pen, erase a State's legislative enactments. Nonetheless, the binding precedent of Kitchen and Bishop mandate this result, and this Court will adhere to its Constitutional duties and abide by the rule of law.”

Skavdahl temporarily stayed his ruling until Thursday, October 23 or until defendants file notice that they will not appeal.

Republican Governor Matt Mead said Friday that he disagrees with the decision but that his administration is “bound by law” to implement it.

Officials said Monday that they will file such a notice with the court. As a result, gay couples can start exchanging vows at 10 AM on Tuesday.

The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and Wyoming Equality is representing four gay couples in the lawsuit argued Thursday.

“Starting tomorrow, all Wyoming families will finally be able to share in the security and protection that marriage provides,” Christopher F. Stoll, senior staff attorney for NCLR, said in a statement. “Wyoming’s same-sex couples will benefit in countless ways from having their relationships recognized and respected by the state, and their children will have the security of growing up with parents who are married. We thank the Wyoming couples who courageously stood up to bring this case so that all Wyoming families can enjoy the freedom to marry.”