Marriage equality comes to Oregon

A federal judge has ruled that Oregon's ban on marriage equality is unconstitutional.

U.S. District Judge Michael McShane stated in his ruling, "Because Oregon’s marriage laws discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, the laws violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution."

"Love is in the air in Oregon," said GLAAD President and CEO, Sarah Kate Ellis. "This ruling is going to add stability to LGBT couples and families across the state and continue to advance LGBT equality across the country." 

Hearings were held on April 23, but there were no defendants in court to defend the marriage ban, because the state's Attorney General refused to defend the amendment, saying the ban serves no rational purpose.

The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) attempted to intervene in the case, despite being based in Washington, DC. However, they could not produce the names of any Oregon-based defendants to the ban. Judge Michael McShane allowed oral arguments to continue as scheduled on April 23, while waiting to decide if NOM could intervene. He then ruled on May 14 that NOM did not have the standing to defend the ban. NOM tried to intervene again on May 19, but was again denied. 

Today's ruling means that marriages can begin immediately in the state. Local officials are already prepared to start issuing marriage licenses. Oregon becomes the 18th state to enact marriage equality. 

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