The governor of Montana and the state's chief law enforcement officer are at odds over a ruling striking down the state's ban on gay marriage.

On Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Brian Morris declared the state's decade-old ban invalid and several gay couples were issued marriage licenses. Most counties are expected to begin issuing marriage licenses to gay couples starting on Thursday.

Democratic Governor Steve Bullock cheered the ban's fall and promised its quick implementation in a statement.

“Today’s decision ensures we are closer to fulfilling our promise of freedom, dignity, and equality for all Montanans,” Bullock said. “It is a day to celebrate our progress, while recognizing the qualities that bind us as Montanans: a desire to make a good life for ourselves and our families, while providing greater opportunities to the next generation. I have instructed my administration to quickly take all appropriate steps to ensure that we are recognizing and affording the same rights and responsibilities to legally married same-sex couples that all married Montanans have long enjoyed.”

On the other hand, Attorney General Tim Fox, a Republican, vowed to fight the ruling, though he said he would allow gay couples to marry as an appeal is pursued.

“It is the attorney general’s sworn duty to uphold and defend Montana’s constitution until such time as there is no further review or no appeal can be made in a court of law,” Fox said. “Fulfilling that duty, the state of Montana will appeal this ruling in light of the fact that there are conflicting federal court decisions and no final word from the U.S. Supreme Court.”