Two lesbian couples in the US state of Pennsylvania have applied for marriage licences, and look set to be issued them, despite a state-wide ban on equal marriage.

The couples applied for the licences in Montgomery County on Wednesday following the decision of a county official to issue a marriage licence to a same-sex couple yesterday.

D Bruce Hanes, the register of wills in Montgomery County in southeast Pennsylvania has said he wants to come down “on the right side of history and the law”, and agreed to issue a licence on Tuesday to two women who contacted him last week.

The first couple later changed their minds, after a discussion with the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania, because of the pending lawsuit.

The ACLU warned all of the couples that the marriages could be struck down by courts, given the still active ban on same-sex marriages.

The state attorney general Kathleen Kane has said she will not defend the state’s ban on equal marriage, following a lawsuit being filed to challenge the ban.

The ACLU and the Philadelphia law firm Hangley Aronchick Segal Pudlin and Schiller, filed the complaint earlier this week in the US District Court, in an effort to have the state’s Defense of Marriage Act deemed unconstitutional.