Same-sex marriage in Oregon weathered another hurdle this past Wednesday
after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to block gay marriages. The ruling
comes in response to a request from the National Organization for Marriage
(NOM), an organization that has been trying to overturn a recent ruling
declaring Oregon's same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional.
The battle began when four same-sex couples filed a lawsuit to overturn
the state's ban on gay marriage. After Oregon Attorney General Ellen
Rosenblum refused to defend the ban in federal court, NOM stepped in to
argue on behalf of keeping gay marriage illegal. U.S. District Judge Michael
McShane denied NOM's standing in the Oregon Federal Court before ruling on May 19
th that Oregon's ban on gay marriage violated the equal protection clause
of the U.S. Constitution. In the weeks that followed, hundreds of same-sex
couples throughout the state received marriage licenses.
Prior to McShane overturning the ban, NOM made a series of unsuccessful
attempts to intervene and stop court proceedings. The organization filed
yet another petition with the U.S. Supreme Court requesting that same-sex
marriages be stopped. Wednesday's ruling denied that request. Although
same-sex marriages will remain legal in Oregon, NOM has announced its
intent to continue its fight. The next appeal is in the 9th Circuit Court
of Appeals to determine if NOM can intervene.
Judge McShane's ruling on May 19
th made Oregon the 18
th state – plus the District of Columbia – to recognize marriage
between committed and loving same-sex couples. The following day, Pennsylvania
became the 19
th state. Oregon's same-sex marriage victories may not have been easily
earned, but for many couples and activists, it was well worth the fight.
At McKinley Irvin, our family lawyers support marriage equality in Oregon
and the fight for marriage equality nationwide. Our legal team continues
to support LGBT families in need of personalized, compassionate, and exceptional
For more information about our legal services and how our firm may be of
assistance with your particular case,
contact us today.