U.S. District Judge Michael McShane struck down Oregon's ban on same-sex marriage Monday, as widely anticipated.
The National Organization for Marriage had asked the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to prevent McShane from even issuing a ruling; NOM was objecting to McShane having refused its last-minute effort to intervene in the case and defend the marriage ban, given that the state attorney general would not. That preemptive appeal was rejected ahead of McShane's decision.
What this means is that, barring NOM getting a stay on the judgment now that it's been issued, the couples waiting anxiously outside the Multnomah County building, hoping to be able to marry, are getting their wish—and a measure of justice.
12:12 PM PT: From the ruling:
“Because Oregon’s marriage laws discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, the laws violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution,” U.S. District Court Judge Michael McShane wrote. [...]
In concluding, McShane — an out gay Oregon judge appointed to the federal bench by President Obama — write that “on this issue of marriage I am struck more by our similarities than our differences. I believe that if we can look for a moment past gender and sexuality, we can see in these plaintiffs nothing more or less than our own families. Families who we would expect our Constitution to protect, if not exalt, in equal measure. With discernment we see not shadows lurking in closets or the stereotypes of what was once believed; rather, we see families committed to the common purpose of love, devotion, and service to the greater community.”
Couples are indeed expected to begin marrying today.
12:27 PM PT: Results:
Jubilant couples who anticipated a favorable decision from the judge began the rush to officially wed at locations around the state. McShane allowed his order to take immediate effect. [...]
Backers of the gay marriage initiative have said that they planned to drop their measure if they received a favorable ruling from McShane.