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

Durbin Weighs in on Cuba Relations

Fresh
local_news_generic

For the the first time since 1961, the United States is moving towards official diplomatic relations with Cuba — and…

in Local

Hundreds Turn Out in Chatham to Talk Water

Chatham2

Complaints about water quality in Chatham pour in

in Local

Some Want Rail Crossing “Quiet Zones”

railroad

3rd Street corridor too noisy for some residents

in Local

Lincoln Library Receives Sizable Gift

lincoln library

Estate of local icon provides large gift to public library for upgrades

in Local

Topinka Honored, Remembered in Memorial Service

FILE - In this Nov. 3, 2002 file photo, Illinois state Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka participates in a Republican campaign rally in Springfield, Ill. Topinka, who won a second term for state comptroller in November 2014, died early Wednesday morning, Dec. 10, 2014, less than 24 hours after having a stroke, according to her office. She was 70. Topinka previously served three terms as Illinois state treasurer, was a former Illinois GOP chairwoman and ran for governor in 2006.

Friends, family, and politicians bid their final farewell to Judy Baar Topinka.