A day after a federal judge struck down
Montana's ban on gay marriage, gay and lesbian couples began
exchanging vows across the state.
One of the first couples to marry was
Randi Paul and Jill Houk of Billings, who married in a crowded
hallway at the Yellowstone County Courthouse.
Paul, 28, told the
AP that marrying in another state wasn't an option for her.
“I'm a super Montanan. That's a big
part of who I am. The prospect of getting married somewhere else was
upsetting,” she said.
U.S. District Judge Brian Morris said
in his 18-page ruling that the decade-old constitutional amendment
limiting marriage to couples of the opposite sex violated the
Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
The “United States Constitution
exists to protect disfavored minorities from the will of the
majority,” Morris wrote.
Montana Attorney General Tim Fox said
he would appeal the ruling the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San
Francisco. The attempt is considered a long shot at best. Fox
conceded as much when he announced that his office would not seek to
block the ruling as an appeal is pursued.