Constitutional amendments in Mississippi and Arkansas limiting marriage to heterosexual couples approved by voters in 2004 were struck down Tuesday by federal judges.

In Arkansas, U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker sided with two lesbian couples challenging the ban, while U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves struck down Mississippi's ban.

Reeves said that Mississippi's ban violated the Fourteenth Amendment.

“The Fourteenth Amendment operates to remove the blinders of inequality from our eyes,” Reeves wrote in his ruling. “Though we cherish our traditional values, they must give way to constitutional wisdom. Mississippi's traditional beliefs about gay and lesbian citizens led it to defy that wisdom by taking away fundamental rights owed to every citizen. It is time to restore those rights.”

Both judges put their rulings on hold, giving state officials an opportunity to consider appeals.

The Campaign for Southern Equality (CSE) filed the lawsuit challenging Mississippi's ban last month.

“This is a big day since it means that gay Mississippians will have the right to be married in their own home state that they love so much,” said lead counsel Roberta Kaplan. “It is also a big day for our country and for our Constitution, since it means that Americans in yet another state can now appreciate that gay people, who are their neighbors, friends and family members, have the right to equal protection of the laws.”