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Breaking: Federal Judge Rules Oregon Same-Sex Marriage Ban Unconstitutional

by David Badash on May 19, 2014

in News

Post image for Breaking: Federal Judge Rules Oregon Same-Sex Marriage Ban Unconstitutional

Citing the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, federal judge Michael McShane has just ruled that Oregon’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. In 2004, voters in Oregon elected to have the phrase, “It is the policy of Oregon, and its political subdivisions, that only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or legally recognized as a marriage,” written into their constitution.

Last October, Oregon decided to recognize same-sex marriages performed in jurisdictions outside the state, and in todays case, the Oregon attorney general refused to defend the law in court.

NOM, the National Organization For Marriage, filed to take over the defense of the case, two days before it was to start, and was rebuffed. Today, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals denied NOM’s attempt to have Judge McShane’s ruling stayed, even before he handed it down.

Oregon has a three-day waiting period from when licenses are issued until marriages can be performed, except in the case of emergency. County clerks have been known to waive that requirement in other states that extend marriage to same-sex couples, and news reports state some weddings will be performed today.

The Washington Blade, which broke the news first, reports:

McShane’s ruling means 13 federal courts have ruled in favor of marriage equality since the Supreme Court’s decision against DOMA in addition to state courts in New Jersey, New Mexico and Arkansas.

The decision also has the distinction of being handed down from a judge who’s openly gay. McShane has raised a child with his ex-partner and is now raising another child with his current partner.

Stay tuned — this is a breaking news story with more developments to come.

Image by faith cathcartvia Twitter

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