Monday at noon, a federal judge threw out Oregon’s same-sex marriage ban and Oregon became the 18th state to legalize gay marriage. Many same-sex couples rushed to courthouse to get married and celebrate the 13th consecutive legal victory for gay marriage advocates.
This legal battle started on October 15, 2013 when two same-sex couples filed a lawsuit against the Oregon constitution’s ban on same-sex marriage. Judge Michael McShane scheduled oral arguments to take place on April 23rd but before they could happen the attorney defending Oregon and the ban on marriage backed down from the case telling the court that she believed “”that performing same-sex marriages in Oregon would have no adverse effect on existing marriages, and that sexual orientation does not determine an individual’s capacity to establish a loving and enduring relationship”.
Since all of the involved parties in the lawsuit were now for same-sex marriage, Judge McShane questioned whether or not Oregon voters should get another say on the issue, since they approved the same-sex marriage ban back in 2003. The court scheduled another oral arguments session and in the meantime the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), a group which opposes same-sex marriage, tried to qualify for intervention in order to stop the case.
However, Judge McShane rejected NOM’s attempts to intervene and went ahead to make a decision on May 19th legalizing same-sex marriage. While there are still some legal battles to fight and questions that will need to be answered, this is seen as a huge victory for gay marriage advocates.
Judge McShane ended the trial on a personal note, speaking of his own experiences growing up gay and concluded by saying “I know that many suggest we are going down a slippery slope that will have no moral boundaries. To those who truly harbor such fears, I can only say this: Let us look less to the sky to see what might fall; rather, let us look to each other…and rise.”