On Monday, May 19, 2014, U.S. District Judge Michael McShane
struck down Oregon's ban on gay marriage. The ban, which was passed by Oregon
voters in 2004, was deemed unconstitutional.
For the many same-sex couples and gay rights advocates living in Oregon,
the ruling was a significant victory. After the U.S. Supreme Court struck
down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) last year, Oregon now becomes
one of seven other states to have a Federal Judge strike down a gay marriage
ban. These other states include Arkansas, Utah, Texas, Virginia, Michigan,
Oklahoma, and Idaho. A total of seventeen states and Washington, D.C.
allow same-sex marriage.
In his ruling, McShane stated that Oregon's ban on gay marriage was
unconstitutional, as it discriminates against same-sex couples without
"a rational relationship to any legitimate government interest."
He also added that the ban violated the Equal Protection Clause of the
th Amendment. His decision included a powerful message in support of marriages
in which couples are committed to love, devotion, and the family unit
– regardless of their gender and sexuality.
Although it may not have been an easy battle, the new ruling is warmly
welcomed by many throughout the state. State officials have reported that
they are prepared to immediately carry out same-sex marriages, and lines
were already formed outside of the county clerk's office in Portland
in anticipation of the ruling.
At McKinley Irvin, our legal team has long supported same-sex couples in
their fight for the right to be married. Our family law attorneys have
also worked with many
LGBT families throughout the years. If you have questions about your rights or a family
law matter, contact us to discuss your needs.