SAN ANTONIO -

A federal judge in San Antonio on Wednesday ruled that the ban on gay marriage in Texas is unconstitutional.

Despite the ruling, the state ban on gay marriage remains in effect.

District Judge Orlando Garcia has said he expects the U.S. Supreme Court to have the final say on the matter.

Two Texas men and a lesbian couple married in Massachusetts filed a lawsuit seeking to have their marriage recognized, claiming it violates the equal protection amendment in the U.S. Constitution.

"We are extremely happy -- happy beyond words -- with Judge Garcia's decision," said Mark Phariss and Vic Holmes, who were plaintiffs in the lawsuit. "Having been together almost 17 years, we look forward to the day when we can get married and when all gay Texans enjoy equal rights to marry as well. Today, Judge Garcia affirmed that the Equal Protection Clause applies to all Texans. We are delighted by that decision, and we expect that, if appealed, it will be upheld."

"Today, we've taken a great step towards justice for our family," said Nicole Dimetman and Cleopatra De Leon, plaintiffs in the lawsuit. "We are thrilled with the ruling and remain hopeful that this matter will continue to move quickly through the courts. Ultimately, the repeal of Texas' ban will mean that our son will never know how this denial of equal protections demeaned our family and belittled his parents' relationship. We look forward to the day when, surrounded by friends and family, we can renew our vows in our home state of Texas."

Lawyers for the state say argue Texas has a right to create its own laws on marriage.

Texas lawmakers passed a ban on same-sex marriage in 2003. Two years later, voters approved an amendment to the state constitution that defined marriage as a union that consists only between one man and one woman.

Attorney General Greg Abbot also weighed in on the subject. He said he wanted to uphold the Texas constitution and would appeal the decision.

"We will just continue the effort of defending the Texas constitution and I believe if the Supreme Court or the Lower courts apply well established Supreme Court principals the Texas constitution will be upheld," said Abbot.

Abbot went on to say that there was good people in both sides of the issue. He believes Wednesday's ruling is just one out of many as the issue is resolved.

Seventeen states recognize gay marriage and similar lawsuits are underway in 22 other states.

WATCH: Same-sex couples appear at press conference after ruling