PORTLAND, Ore. — An openly homosexual federal judge nominated to the bench by Barack Obama has stuck down Oregon’s same-sex ‘marriage’ ban, declaring it to be unconstitutional.
U.S. District Judge Michael McShane issued his ruling on Monday, discarding the state’s constitutional marriage amendment, which had been approved by 57 percent of voters in 2004.
“It is the policy of Oregon, and its political subdivisions, that only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or legally recognized as a marriage,” it read.
McShane wrote in his ruling that the state did not have a good enough reason to bar homosexuals from obtaining marriage licenses.
“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,” he wrote.
But the case had never been defended by the state. In February, Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum announced that her office would not defend the state’s marriage amendment as she believes those of the same sex should be able to tie the knot with each other.
The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) had requested that it be able to serve as the defense in the case, but McShane refused because it was considered a private organization and not a representative of the state. NOM then filed an appeal with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, but was likewise denied. It vowed to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.
“[McShane] did this without anybody legally representing the people of Oregon,” President Brian Brown told Reuters. “This is a perfect example of a lawless kangaroo court.”
But Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber praised the ruling, saying that it furthered equality in the state.
“This is a major step for Oregon and our constant struggle to live up to our ideals of freedom and equality for all,” he said. “Every Oregonian will now have the right to make a legal commitment to the person that they love.”
Some predicted that Oregon’s marriage amendment would be overturned as Judge McShane is an open homosexual. According to the Oregonian, McShane has long identified as ‘gay’ as he and a former partner adopted a son at one time, who is now 20 years old. He is currently living with partner Gregory Ford, and the two raise Ford’s 13-year-old nephew together.
Reflective of his lifestyle, McShane’s ruling on Monday took on a personal tone as he spoke of those who object to same-sex behavior on moral grounds.
“Generations of Americans, my own included, were raised in a world in which homosexuality was believed to be a moral perversion, a mental disorder, or a mortal sin,” he wrote. “I know that many suggest we are going down a slippery slope that will have no moral boundaries. To those who truly harbor such fears, I can only say this: Let us look less to the sky to see what might fall; rather, let us look to each other and rise.”
Following his decision declaring Oregon’s marriage amendment unconstitutional, four counties began issuing “marriage” licenses to homosexuals.