News

Judge strikes down Oregon’s ban on same-sex marriage

Judge strikes down Oregon’s ban on same-sex marriage

Same-sex marriage supporters Laurel Gregory (L) and Shilpi Banerjee, who are the first in line for marriage licenses, smile in Portland, Oregon May 19, 2014. Photo: Reuters/Steve Dipaola

PORTLAND, Oregon (Reuters) – A federal judge struck down Oregon’s ban on same-sex marriage on Monday, saying that it violated the U.S. Constitution, in a ruling that was greeted by cheers from gay rights activists.

The ruling came after Oregon’s attorney general announced in February that she would not defend a voter-approved 2004 amendment to the state constitution that defined marriage as a union exclusively between a man and a woman.

“There is no legitimate state interest that would justify the denial of the full and equal recognition, attendant rights, benefits, protections, privileges, obligations, responsibilities and immunities of marriage to same-gender couples,” U.S. District Judge Michael McShane said in his written ruling responding to a lawsuit by four same-sex couples.

Marriage rights have been extended to gay couples in 17 states and the District of Columbia in a trend that has gained momentum since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled last June that legally married same-sex couples nationwide are eligible for federal benefits.

That decision, which struck down part of the 1996 federal Defense of Marriage Act, has been cited by a number of federal judges in subsequent opinions overturning state bans on gay matrimony.

Recent Headlines

in Local

Local Expert Favors Net Neutrality

Internet

UIS expert says those without "deep pockets" will have equal access to internet.

in Local

Rauner Holding Fast to Reallocation to Get Through Rest of the Fiscal Year

rauner

The Governor holds General Assembly responsible for budget shortfalls.

in Local

Winter Weather Advisory Effective 6PM Saturday – 6PM Sunday

snowplow

4 - 6 inches of snow expected in the area; snow emergency in effect at 7pm tonight in Springfield.

in Local

Snow Emergency Declared in Springfield; Salt Supplies Plentiful

snowplow

The City of Springfield has declared another snow emergency -- it's in effect from 7:00 Saturday night through 7:00 Monday night.

in Local

Quinn’s Back, Suggests Voters Have “Buyer’s Remorse” with Rauner

pat-quinn

Former Gov. Pat Quinn thinks Illinois may be feeling buyer’s remorse after hearing Gov. Bruce Rauner’s budget plan.