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Oregon LGBT rights and marriage equality news


Oregon Marriage Equality Case Considered by Justice Kennedy

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

Supreme Court Justice Anthony KennedyNational Organization for Marriage’s battle against Oregon Marriage Equality appeared to gain at least a little traction yesterday.

Towleroad.com reports:

Justice Anthony Kennedy, who is fielding the request, wants more information from the parties involved before he makes a decision.

The Oregonian reports: Kennedy asked for briefs to be filed by 1 p.m. Monday from the parties in the two lawsuits that led to U.S. District Judge Michael McShane’s May 19 ruling that allowed gays and lesbians to marry in Oregon. Kennedy, who hears emergency appeals from the region that includes Oregon, could issue a ruling on NOM’s motion on its own or pass the issue on to the full court. At a minimum, Kennedy’s action means that he wants more information on the case before he makes a decision. But it’s hard to know whether NOM has a strong shot for its argument that the Supreme Court should get involved in the Oregon case because of its unusual nature.

I’m surprised Kennedy didn’t just throw the request out at first glance. Do you think he’s taking it seriously? BTW, NOM apparently left out the whole part about Judge McShane finding they had no standing when they filed their request with the Supreme Court.

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NOM Tries a Hail Mary Pass in Oregon Marriage Equality Case

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

NOM LogoThose poor, deluded folks at the National Organization for Marriage – they think they still have a chance to turn back the tide of marriage equality.

Equality on Trial reports:

The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) has filed an application with the Ninth Circuit’s Circuit Justice, Anthony Kennedy, requesting “an immediate stay pending appeal of an order denying intervention and of the judgment and injunction entered by the United States District Court for the District of Oregon, invalidating and enjoining enforcement of Oregon’s marriage laws to the extent they limit marriage to man-woman unions.” The district court judge, Michael McShane, and the motions panel at the Ninth Circuit, had previously rejected their request for a stay.

There’s no appeal. There’s nothing to stay. When will they take their ball and just go home?

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Living in Post Marriage Equality Oregon

Saturday, May 24th, 2014

1. Celebrate. Celebrate as long as you want to. This was a big deal. This was history.

2. Start planning your wedding! You don’t even need to have someone to get married to! Get on Pinterest and start pinning every single wedding idea you see until you create an overblown pastiche wedding that lacks any continuity! Maybe if you don’t have someone in mind make that board ‘secret’ for right now. As a side note: several writers for PQ are also ordained ministers. In case you are looking. Our rates are very reasonable.

3. If you have a serious partner take some time to really consider if you want to marry them. If you think break ups are bad, wait until you add the legal complications of divorce.

Authored By TJ Acena – See the Full Story at PQ Monthly

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USA, Oregon: The Marriage Equality Quote of the Day

Monday, May 19th, 2014

Judge Michael McShaneFlagged by Joe.My.God:

Oregon recognizes a marriage of love with the same equal eye that it recognizes a marriage of convenience. It affords the same set of rights and privileges to Tristan and Isolde that it affords to a Hollywood celebrity waking up in Las Vegas with a blurry memory and a ringed finger. It does not, however, afford these very same rights to gay and lesbian couples who wish to marry within the confines of our geographic borders.

Amazing. And now they can.

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Marriage News Watch: The Win in Oregon

Monday, May 19th, 2014

Oregon Marriage EqualityThe National Organization for Marriage screws up again in Oregon. Judges in Idaho and Arkansas rule that marriage bans violate the US Constitution.

Following another round of hearings, rulings are due any day now in Virginia and Pennsylvania.

And a new lawsuit in Alaska leaves just three states with an unchallenged marriage ban.

Authored By Matt Baume – See the Full Story at Marriage News Watch

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BREAKING: Judge Overturns Oregon Marriage Equality Ban

Monday, May 19th, 2014

Oregon Marriage Equality

Update 12:27 PM From Oregon United for Marriage:

The ruling will go into effect immediately, and marriage licenses will soon be available in counties across the state. Already, Multnomah County is issuing licenses to same-sex couples.


It’s official – Federal Judge Michael McShane has just overturned the constitutional ban on Oregon Marriage Equality.

Oregon United for Marriage reports:

Judge Michael McShane has ruled that Oregon’s marriage ban is unconstitutional! Stay tuned for more updates.

The Washington Blade elaborates:

A federal judge in Oregon struck down the state’s ban on same-sex marriage Monday, making for the 13th straight win for gay nuptials in the federal courts since the U.S. Supreme Court decision against the Defense of Marriage Act. In a 26-page decision, U.S. District Judge Michael McShane ruled in the consolidated case of Rummell v. Kitzhaber and Geiger v. Kitzhaber that Oregon’s ban on same-sex marriage violates rights under the U.S. Constitution. “Because Oregon’s marriage laws discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation without a rational relationship to any legitimate government interest, the laws violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution,” McShane writes.

In related news, the ninth circuit has denied NOM’s request to intervene in the case.


Oregon United for Marriage just released this statement:

Today, U.S. District Court Judge Michael McShane ruled that Oregon’s exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage is unconstitutional–paving the way for couples to begin marrying immediately.

The lawsuit alleged that Oregon’s constitutional ban on marriage for lesbian and gay couples–Measure 36–violates the U.S. Constitution.

The consolidated case–Geiger v. Kitzhaber, filed on October 13, 2013, and Rummell v. Kitzhaber, filed on December 19, 2013–was argued on April 23, 2014. Attorneys Lake Perriguey (Law Works, LLC) and Lea Ann Easton (Dorsay & Easton, LLP), argued on behalf of plaintiff couples Deanna Geiger and Janine Nelson, and Robert Duehmig and William Griesar. Attorneys Rose Saxe and Amanda Goad (American Civil Liberties Union), Kevin Diaz (ACLU of Oregon), and volunteer counsel Misha Isaak and Tom Johnson (Perkins Coie, LLP), and Jennifer Middleton (Johnson, Johnson & Schaller, PC), argued on behalf of two additional couples–Paul Rummell and Ben West, and Chris Tanner and Lisa Chickadonz–and Basic Rights Education Fund.

“The importance of Judge McShane’s decision cannot be overemphasized,” said David Fidanque, executive director of the ACLU of Oregon. “Our federal Constitution does not allow any state – or its voters – to deny same sex couples equal protection under the law simply because of who they are and who they love. This type of discrimination is wrong and it’s also unconstitutional.”

“Our clients Deanna Geiger & Janine Nelson and Bob Duehig and Bill Griesar are grateful the Attorney General, Governor, Ms. Woodward and Mr. Walruff carefully considered their position and so clearly articulated Oregon’s position that it values our relationships and commitments to each other and our families,” said Lee Ann Easton, an attorney at Dorsay & Easton who, with co-counsel Lake Periguey, filed the Geiger case. “They are very pleased the District Court adopted their position along with the Rummell plaintiffs in his decision. With this advancement of civil rights, gay and lesbian Oregonians are now equal under the law.”

“After years of working in every way possible way to bring the freedom to marry to Oregon, today is a historic day,” said Vanessa Usui, board chair of Basic Rights Education Fund. “Starting with a ballot measure, and ultimately with this court victory, we have finally ensured that all loving, committed same-sex couples are free to marry in Oregon.”

“Today’s ruling acknowledges that Oregon same-sex couples are entitled to equal dignity under our Constitution,” said Misha Isaak, who argued on behalf of the Rummell plaintiffs at the April 23 hearing and serves on Basic Rights Oregon’s legal advisory group. “We are parents, siblings, neighbors, coworkers, and friends, just like our fellow Oregonians, and we have the same constitutional rights as our fellow Oregonians. Our loving, committed relationships are worthy of the state’s equal recognition. Finally, they will get it.”

“Today Oregon joins the increasing number of states in embracing the freedom to marry for all,” said Rose Saxe, senior staff attorney with the ACLU Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Project. “This decision brings us one step closer to ensuring that all loving and committed couples will be able to take care of each other and their loved ones with the protections and dignity that only come through marriage.”

The anti-marriage equality group National Organization for Marriage (NOM) attempted to intervene in the case just before the April 23 hearing. On May 14, Judge McShane denied their motion. NOM filed an appeal in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on May 19, and also requested an emergency stay of Judge McShane’s ruling. The request for a stay was denied, but the appeal is still pending.


Oregon has already indicated it won’t appeal. Gay and lesbian couples may begin to marry as soon as this afternoon in the state – now the entire West Coast has full marriage equality.

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National Organization for Marriage Runs to Appeals Court to Block Oregon Marriage Equality

Monday, May 19th, 2014

NOM LogoThe National Organization for Marriage isn’t done with Oregon, despite having its demand to be allowed to intervene thrown out last week by federal Judge Michael McShane.

The stealthy bastards have just filed a demand with the Ninth Circuit to stay the upcoming decision (due at noon). Oregon United for Marriage Tweeted:

BREAKING: NOM files an appeal w/ the 9th circuit & requests a stay. We’ll keep you updated w/ more info!

Not sure why they expect to be taken seriously here, as they HAVE NO STANDING in this case. It’s a hail mary pass.

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Oregon Marriage Equality Ruling Today at Noon

Monday, May 19th, 2014

Oregon Gay MarriageToday is the day we find out if marriage equality has finally come to Oregon.

Edge Boston reports:

Same-sex marriages in Oregon could begin as soon as Monday afternoon, depending on a judge’s ruling. U.S. District Judge Michael McShane said he’ll issue his ruling at noon Pacific time on a constitutional challenge to the state’s gay-marriage ban. Officials in Oregon’s largest county, Multnomah, say they’ll begin issuing marriage licenses immediately if his ruling allows it. McShane hasn’t signaled how he’ll rule, but the state refused to mount a defense of the voter-approved ban, and both sides asked that it be found unconstitutional.

If the judge says yes, the entire West Coast of the US (and Canada) will have marriage equality.

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Activists Should Go Ahead With Oregon Marriage Equality Vote

Saturday, May 17th, 2014

Oregon Gay MarriageAn Oregon federal judge is likely to declare that Oregon’s ban on same-sex marriage violates the U.S. Constitution. We wholeheartedly agree with that outcome, but the final say on this legal issue belongs to the U.S. Supreme Court. When the Supreme Court rules (likely in June 2015), it may disagree that the federal constitution prohibits same-sex marriage bans. Or it may agree that the ban is invalid.

Oregonians, however, need not wait another year for certainty on marriage equality. We are ready, willing and able to strike down the same-sex marriage ban this November. Oregon United for Marriage (OUM) has gathered the signatures for a ballot initiative. But, surprisingly, OUM is considering giving up just short of the finish line and trusting the U.S. Supreme Court to finish the job for them. They shouldn’t. Even if the federal court’s ruling allows same-sex couples to start marrying in Oregon immediately, there are compelling reasons OUM should still put marriage equality on the November ballot.

1. The U.S. Supreme Court cannot be taken for granted. If Oregon’s constitutional ban remains, and the Supreme Court disagrees that it violates the federal Constitution, future same-sex marriages will stop until Oregon passes the marriage equality ballot initiative in November, 2016 at the earliest. And marriages that take place between now and June, 2015 could be in legal jeopardy.

Authored By Andrew Altschul – See the Full Story at Oregon Live

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Oregon Marriage Equality Decision Coming Monday

Friday, May 16th, 2014

Oregon Gay MarriageThis just in from Oregon United for Marriage:

The federal judge in Oregon’s marriage equality lawsuit said he plans to issue an opinion at noon on Monday.

If judge Michael McShane strikes down Oregon’s law excluding same-sex couples from marriage, all loving and committed couples in Oregon could be granted the freedom to marry.

“We don’t know which way the judge will rule, but we are hopeful that Oregon is on the verge of making history–and that by next week, all of Oregon’s loving, committed couples will be able to wed in our state,” said Amy Ruiz, deputy campaign manager for Oregon United for Marriage.

Oregon United for Marriage launched a “Decision Day Resource Page” last week, for Oregonians anticipating the ruling.

On April 23, Judge McShane heard arguments on motions for summary judgment in the case. On Wednesday May 17 the Judge heard oral arguments from the National Organization for Marriage, which filed their motion to intervene in the case at 11:04 p.m. two days before oral arguments.

So far, more than a dozen judges have ruled for the freedom to marry since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down key parts of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act last year. Once Oregon wins marriage equality, Multnomah County has said that it plans to start issuing licenses right away to gay and lesbian couples.


Attorneys filed two lawsuits last year in the federal court in Eugene to challenge laws that exclude same-sex couples from marriage in Oregon. In October, attorneys Lake Perriguey and Lea Ann Easton filed the first case, Geiger v. Kitzhaber, on behalf of two couples.

In December, staff attorneys for the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Oregon, and volunteer counsel Misha Isaak and Tom Johnson of Perkins Coie, LLP, and Jennifer Middleton of Johnson, Johnson & Schaller, PC, filed a second case, Rummell v. Kitzhaber, on behalf of two same-sex couples who wish to marry in Oregon and Basic Rights Education Fund. In January, the judge, Michael McShane, consolidated the two cases.

Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum announced in February that Measure 36 is indefensible. “Sexual orientation does not determine an individual’s capacity to establish a loving and enduring relationship,” she wrote in a brief filed with the court. “The ban cannot withstand a federal constitutional challenge under any standard of review.”

The National Organization for Marriage in Washington D.C. filed a motion to intervene in the case, and now the judge is hearing arguments about how to rule.

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