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.

Recent Headlines

in Entertainment, Weird

Kid celebrates World Book Day by going to school dressed as Christian Grey

50shades

The 11-year-old was sent home from school after he came in a costume modeled after the S&M-loving star of "Fifty Shades of Grey."

in Music

Grateful Dead plan Jerry Garcia tribute

jerrygarcia

The surviving members will perform a concert billed as "Dear Jerry: Celebrating The Music Of Jerry Garcia."

in Entertainment

Stallone adapting ‘The Expendables’ for TV

expendable

The "Rambo" star has signed a deal to develop the series, which will unite action stars on a mission to stop a terrorist.

in Music

Brian Wilson taking former Beach Boys bandmates on tour

brianwilson

The music icon has recruited Al Jardine and Blondie Chaplin and to join him on his upcoming U.S. tour.