News

Judge strikes down Oregon’s ban on same-sex marriage

Judge strikes down Oregon’s ban on same-sex marriage

Same-sex marriage supporters Laurel Gregory (L) and Shilpi Banerjee, who are the first in line for marriage licenses, smile in Portland, Oregon May 19, 2014. Photo: Reuters/Steve Dipaola

PORTLAND, Oregon (Reuters) – A federal judge struck down Oregon’s ban on same-sex marriage on Monday, saying that it violated the U.S. Constitution, in a ruling that was greeted by cheers from gay rights activists.

The ruling came after Oregon’s attorney general announced in February that she would not defend a voter-approved 2004 amendment to the state constitution that defined marriage as a union exclusively between a man and a woman.

“There is no legitimate state interest that would justify the denial of the full and equal recognition, attendant rights, benefits, protections, privileges, obligations, responsibilities and immunities of marriage to same-gender couples,” U.S. District Judge Michael McShane said in his written ruling responding to a lawsuit by four same-sex couples.

Marriage rights have been extended to gay couples in 17 states and the District of Columbia in a trend that has gained momentum since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled last June that legally married same-sex couples nationwide are eligible for federal benefits.

That decision, which struck down part of the 1996 federal Defense of Marriage Act, has been cited by a number of federal judges in subsequent opinions overturning state bans on gay matrimony.

Local Headlines

in Local

Pheasant Hunting Season

dnr1240

Today marks the start of the pheasant hunting season in Iowa...

in Local

Clay County Deputy Retiring

claycountysheriff

A Clay County Deputy is retiring...

in Local

Building Iowa’s Future Event Held in Spencer

build

A sizable portion of the Iowa GOP statewide ticket was on hand in Spencer on Friday...

in Local

Storm Lake Counterfeit Conviction

courtnews1240

Yoirland Rojas has been convicted of making and using counterfeit credit cards...

in Local

Echo Plus Merging With Hope Haven

hopehaven

Echo Plus of Spirit Lake and Estherville is merging into the Hope Haven organization...