U.S. District Judge Michael McShane struck down Oregon’s ban on same-sex marriage on Monday – meaning couples can officially marry today! The state ban was challenged by four gay and lesbian couples in the state. According to The Wire, couples have already started getting married. Considering Oregon is a very liberal state, it’s surprising that this just happened, but it’s still a step in the right direction.
In his decision, McShane wrote that the voter-approved ban violates the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection clause. He wrote of the plaintiffs:
Despite the fact that these couples present so vividly the characteristics of a loving and supportive relationship, none of these ideals we attribute to marriage are spousal prerequisites under Oregon law. In fact, Oregon recognizes a marriage of love with the same equal eye that it recognizes a marriage of convenience. It affords the same set of rights and privileges to Tristan and Isolde that it does to a Hollywood celebrity waking up in Las Vegas with a blurry memory and a ringed finger. It does not, however, afford these very same rights to gay and lesbian couple who wish to marry within the confines of our geographic borders.
Same-sex couples gathered outside of the county marriage license offices awaiting the decision.
Support for same-sex marriage has been steadily increasing over the past couple of years, according to The Wire, 54 percent of American believe same-sex marriages should be recognized as legally valid, compared to 37 percent in 2005.