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.