Montana Attorney General Tim Fox has been tasked with defending the state constitution's ban on same sex marriage, after a federal lawsuit was filed this week.

The lawsuit was filed on May 21 in Federal Court in Great Falls, and in response, Montana's Governor Steve Bullock praised the action.

“Montanans cherish our freedom and recognize the individual dignity of every one of us. The time has come for our state to recognize and celebrate – not discriminate against – two people who love one another, are committed to each other, and want to spend their lives together. I look forward to a future where all Montanans have the opportunity to marry the person they love, just as Lisa and I did almost 15 years ago. We are on the path to greater understanding and equality, and we will all be better for it.”

Spokesman Tim Fox, John Barnes, said the Republican plans to vigorously defend Montana's Constitution.

"The attorney general, as the state's chief legal officer has the responsibility of defending Montana's laws when they are challenged in court," Barnes said. "We will be defending Montana's Marriage Amendment, and we will be doing so vigorously, as we do with every other state law or aspect of the state constitution that we defend in court."

Barnes said the people of Montana, by popular vote, made their wishes known regarding traditional marriage.

"It's a lawsuit brought against Montana's Marriage Amendment which was passed in 2004, and I believe it received 66 percent of the vote," Barnes said. "It's being challenged in court and we're going to defend it, because it is Montana law. The voters made it very clear in 2004 that's what they believe, that marriage is between one man and one woman, and we're going to defend the law, and defend the will of the voters, and we'll see what happens."

As of Thursday, May 22, only one state, North Dakota, has not had it's legal definition of marriage challenged by same-sex marriage activists.

Attorney General Spokesman John Barnes