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

Today in entertainment history: July 28

beatles

A look back at the Hollywood headlines that went down in history.

in Entertainment

This weekend in entertainment history

prince

A look at the Hollywood headlines that made history.

in Entertainment

REVIEW: Scarlett Johansson gets brainy in ‘Lucy’

Lucy

A ridiculous premise doesn't have to sink a film, and Luc Besson's "Lucy" actually gets off to a solid start.

in Music

CHART TOPPERS: This week’s top country tracks

joenichols

LISTEN: This week's top country tracks, according to the latest Billboard chart.

in Viral Videos

Overjoyed dog almost passes out from excitement

Happy Dog

This schnauzer can't even handle how excited it is when a family member returns home.