US: Judge overturns Montana gay marriage ban: ‘The time has come’

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

A federal judge on Wednesday overturned the US state of Montana’s ban on gay and lesbian couples marrying, saying: “The time has come”.

The ban was overturned by US District Judge Brian Morris, making Montana the 34th state to allow same-sex marriage.

The ruling was effective immediately, and as there is no waiting period in the state, gay and lesbian couples began marrying immediately.

Morris wrote in the ruling: “Montana no longer can deprive Plaintiffs and other same-sex couples of the chance to marry their loves. This Court recognises that not everyone will celebrate this outcome.”

“This decision overturns a Montana Constitutional amendment approved by the voters of Montana. Yet the United States Constitution exists to protect disfavoured minorities from the will of the majority,” the judge continued.

Morris also added: “The time has come for Montana to follow all the other states within the Ninth Circuit and recognise laws that ban same-sex marriage violate the constitutional right of same-sex couples to equal protection of the laws.”

On the back of the ruling, Montana is now one of 34 US states which allow same-sex marriage.