Judge Declares Ban on Gay Marriage in Oregon Unconstitutional

Oregon became the 18th state to allow gay marriage after a federal judge on Monday struck down a voter-approved ban.

U.S. District Judge Michael McShane held that the ban violates the Constitution by discriminating against gay couples. He ordered the state not to enforce it.

State officials had said they would be prepared to carry out same-sex marriages almost immediately. Couples lined up outside the clerk’s office in Portland ahead of the decision.

Laurie Brown and Julie Engbloom, together for 10 years, were among the couples who arrived early to get in line.

“We always knew we wanted to spend our whole life together,” Brown told The Associated Press. “This opportunity has come, it feels right, everything has fallen into place.”

The ban was approved by Oregon voters in 2004. The state attorney general, a Democrat, refused to defend the ban in court and said that she would not appeal.

Read more: http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/judge-strikes-down-ban-gay-marriage-oregon-n109276

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