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Marriage Equality

PHOTOS: Montana's Same-Sex Marriages

PHOTOS: Montana's Same-Sex Marriages


Same-sex couples won the right to marry starting Wednesday in Big Sky Country.

After a federal judge struck down Montana's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage Wednesday, Montana became the latest U.S. state to embrace marriage equality.

The Washington Blade reports that the state's Republican attorney general, Tim Fox, has announced his intention to appeal U.S. District Judge Brian Morris's ruling -- though that appeal is unlikely to be successful. Montana is encompassed in the federal Ninth Circuit, which has already issued several pro-equality rulings in neighboring states and previously denied Fox's request to stay Morris's ruling while his office appeals. Nevertheless, Fox pledged to continue pursuing his appeal until a definitive ruling is issued by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Montana's Democratic governor, Steve Bullock, took a decidedly different tone than his top legal adviser.

"[Wednesday]'s decision ensures we are closer to fulfilling our promise of freedom, dignity, and equality for all Montanans," Bullock said in a statement. "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."

Making good on his promise to implement the decision as swiftly as possible, counties across Montana began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples Wednesday, with some clerks manually whiting out the words "husband and wife" and "man and woman" on the marriage application and licenses for same-sex couples, replacing those terms with gender-neutral language.

At press time, 35 U.S. states and the District of Columbia allow same-sex couples to legally wed.

Take a look at the joyful photos below as marriage equality comes to Big Sky Country:

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