U.S. District Judge Michael McShane threw out Oregons voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage Monday, making us the 18th state to allow marriage for gay and lesbian couples.
McShane announced Friday he would release his judgment Monday, so all parties had plenty of time to come up with their statements for the anticipated overturn. Here are a few of those opinions:
Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum: The U.S. District Court concluded, as I did in the position I took on behalf of the state defendants, that Oregons constitutional ban is not defensible under the United States Constitutions Equal Protection Clause. I did not take lightly my decision not to defend the Oregon constitution in this matter.
Oregon Catholic Conference: It is a travesty of justice that marriage, as the foundation of society, received no defense in the U.S. District Court. Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum, in an extreme dereliction of her sworn duty to uphold the law, refused to represent the interests and the people of Oregon. It is a sad day for democracy when one federally appointed judge can overturn, without any representation, the express will of the people of Oregon.
Gov. John Kitzhaber: The people of this state have come to understand that marriage equality affects our neighbors and our co-workers and the people next to us at the grocery store. It affects loving families that are committed to one another.
Oregon Family Council: From every appearance, key elected officials in collusion with special interests and a single federal judge have taken the sacred constitutional process of lawmaking and turned it into a coordinated publicity stunt.
Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek: After a ten-year engagement, my partner Aimee and I are thrilled to join the many other Oregon couples getting married this year.
Oregon House Republican Leader Mike McLane: For those that believe marriage is a religious covenant, the origin of which predates America, todays federal court ruling wont change that. For those that believe marriage is a legal union between two people that is recognized and enforced by our state government, todays ruling is a logical extension of the Supreme Courts ruling last summer. Our society must embrace both views. My hope is that the process of reconciliation in Oregon will continue as we move forward with respect for each other.
U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley: Today is a momentous day in Oregons fight for equality. Lifetime love and commitment should be celebrated and honored, not relegated to second-class status. Today, Oregon is a better place for all who live here.
U.S. Sen Ron Wyden: Judge Michael McShanes decision marks a significant moment in Oregons civil rights history, and its an important step toward equal rights for all Americans. Every American deserves the freedom to marry the person they love, and, starting today, all Oregonians will have that choice.
U.S. Senate candidate Monica Wehby: The Republican party was founded upon the principles of individual liberty the rights of each person to live their lives free from government intrusion. It is my belief that government shouldnt be involved in telling people who they can or cannot love any more than they should be telling people what type of health insurance plan they should buy.