Another day, another state gets gay marriage. This time, it’s Oregon, where U.S. District Judge Michael McShane overturned the state’s law against same-sex marriage, ruling it unconstitutional. McShane ordered the ruling go into effect immediately, and the first ceremonies have already taken place. And unlike in several other states in marriage equality cases, Oregon state officials will not appeal the decision — state Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum announced in February that there was “no rational basis” to defend the 2004 anti-gay-marriage law.
In his decision, McShane wrote,
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 to the United States Constitution.
The decision noted that the plaintiffs, couples Lisa Chickadonz and Chris Tanner, and Paul Rummell and Ben West, “present so vividly the characteristics of a loving and supportive relationship,” although the state doesn’t actually require any proof of such attributes for marriage. Getting all literary, McShane wrote,
In fact, 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…
He also found no “legitimate purpose” in limiting marriage only to heterosexuals, and closed the opinion a bit more poetically than your average judicial decision:
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.
That’ll do, Judge. That’ll do.
Follow Doktor Zoom on Twitter. He’s pretty proud of his home state of Oregon (he left when he was 13 but still squishes a bit).