Federal Judge Strikes Down Oregon Marriage Ban

5/19/2014

New York – Today Judge Michael McShane struck down Oregon’s discriminatory state constitutional amendment that denies committed gay couples the freedom to marry, ruling that it violates the U.S. Constitution. The decision follows a last-minute attempt by the anti-gay group National Organization for Marriage (NOM) to intervene in Oregon’s marriage case, a motion denied by Judge McShane.

Thalia Zepatos, director of public engagement at Freedom to Marry and a key adviser to Oregon United for Marriage, released the following statement:

"Today Judge McShane did the right thing for families, affirming that the denial of marriage to committed same-sex couples in Oregon is unconstitutional. In recognition of the strong support for marriage among Oregonians, no one with legal standing, including our state Attorney General, wanted to go down in history as defending discrimination. Across the country, the courts agree: same-sex couples and their families need the protections of marriage, and anti-marriage laws are indefensible. With over 70 marriage cases now making their way through the courts, today's decision in Oregon underscores that all of America is ready for the freedom to marry.”

A poll by Oregon Public Broadcasting in late April found that 58% of Oregonians support the freedom to marry. The Oregon ruling is the latest in more than a dozen federal and state rulings in favor of the freedom to marry in recent months.

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Freedom to Marry is the campaign to win marriage nationwide. We are pursuing our Roadmap to Victory by working to win the freedom to marry in more states, grow the national majority for marriage, and end federal marriage discrimination. We partner with individuals and organizations across the country to end the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage and the protections, responsibilities, and commitment that marriage brings.