Constitutional Law

Federal judge strikes Oregon's same-sex marriage ban; 9th Circuit denies motion to stay order


An Oregon constitutional amendment that bans same-sex marriage was struck down Monday by a federal judge in Portland, whose order states that the law violates people’s equal protection rights.

It is the seventh federal court order (PDF) that found state same-sex marriage bans unconstitutional the 2013 U.S. Supreme Court opinion that struck parts of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, the Register Guard reports.

Ellen Rosenbaum, Oregon’s attorney general, refused to defend the ban, which voters added to the state constitution in 2004, the Associated Press reports. U.S. District Court Judge Michael McShane previously denied a request by the National Organization for Marriage to defend the amendment. The Washington, D.C.-based group describes itself as a national resource for marriage-related initiatives.

McShane earlier in the month stated that he would issue his order Monday, the Oregonian reports. Early in the day, the National Organization for Marriage asked the San Francisco-based 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to stay any May 19 rulings that McShane made on the case. A 9th Circuit panel denied (PDF) that motion approximately 45 minutes before McShane released the order, the Register Guard reports.

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