Oregon Judge Ignores Voter-Passed Marriage Law, Allows Gay Unions

Posted: May 19, 2014 5:56 PM

A federal judge Monday chose to override Oregon residents and make single-gender unions legal in the state.

As told by the Associated Press:

U.S. District Judge Michael McShane said the ban unconstitutionally discriminates against same-sex couples and ordered the state not to enforce it. State officials earlier refused to defend the constitutional ban in court.

McShane joined judges in seven other states who have struck down gay marriage bans, though appeals are underway.

Oregon state officials have said they'd be prepared to carry out same-sex marriages almost immediately, and couples lined up outside the county clerk's office in Portland in anticipation of the McShane's decision.

In 2004, nearly 60 percent of registered Oregon voters agreed to define marriage as existing solely between one man and one woman. The following amendment was then made to Oregon’s Constitution:

It is the policy of Oregon, and its political subdivisions, that only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or legally recognized as a marriage. [Created through initiative petition filed March 2, 2004, and adopted by the people Nov. 2, 2004]

The federal judge rejected the voter-approved measure, claiming it discriminated on the basis of sexual orientation without any legitimate government interest and violated the Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution’s Fourteenth Amendment.