U.S.

Same-Sex Marriage Legal In Oregon After Judge Overturns Ban

A district court judge ruled Monday that the state's 10-year-old same-sex marriage ban violates the 14th amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Same-Sex Marriage Legal In Oregon After Judge Overturns Ban
The Oregonian / Stephanie Yao Long
SMS

Oregon's same-sex marriage ban was struck down Monday after a district court judge ruled it unconstitutional.

The decision made Oregon the 18th state to allow same-sex marriage. A ballot initiative had made those marriages illegal in 2004. (Via KOIN)

Judge Michael McShane said in his ruling, "Because Oregon's marriage laws discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation without a rational relationship to any legitimate government interest, the laws violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution."

The ruling wasn't much of a surprise. State officials including Governor John Kitzhaber and Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum refused to defend the ban in court, saying they also believed it was unconstitutional.

What was less certain was whether same-sex marriages would be allowed as soon as the ruling came down or whether they would have to wait for another court to rule. (Via KGW-TV)

The National Organization for Marriage tried to intervene in the case, petitioning an appeals court to put a stay on Monday's ruling if the ban was struck down.

But the organization's request was denied, and mere minutes after the judge's ruling, the lines of same-sex couples waiting outside government offices began getting their marriage licenses. (Via KATU)

Another measure was set to appear on the ballot this year allowing voters to decide whether to repeal the ban, though Monday's ruling makes that measure redundant.