“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.”
Freedom To Marry
“Today Judge McShane did the right thing for families, affirming that the denial of marriage to committed same-sex couples in Oregon is unconstitutional. In recognition of the strong support for marriage among Oregonians, no one with legal standing, including our state Attorney General, wanted to go down in history as defending discrimination. Across the country, the courts agree: same-sex couples and their families need the protections of marriage, and anti-marriage laws are indefensible. With over 70 marriage cases now making their way through the courts, today’s decision in Oregon underscores that all of America is ready for the freedom to marry.“
U.S. District Judge Michael McShane stated in his ruling, “Because Oregon’s marriage laws discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, the laws violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.” “Love is in the air in Oregon,” said GLAAD President and CEO, Sarah Kate Ellis. “This ruling is going to add stability to LGBT couples and families across the state and continue to advance LGBT equality across the country.” Hearings were held on April 23, but here were no defendants in court to defend the marriage ban, because the state’s Attorney General refused to defend the amendment, saying the ban serves no rational purpose.
National Gay & Lesbian Task Force
“We are delighted that Judge Michael McShane has finally brought a decade of uncertainty to a close with his ruling. Thousands of LGBTQ couples will be celebrating today across Oregon and around the nation. We are another step closer to marriage equality everywhere for everyone. This victory would not have been possible without the leadership of Oregon United for Marriage who are: Basic Rights Oregon, Human Rights Campaign, Freedom to Marry, ACLU of OR, ACLU National, SEIU of OR, American Unity Fund, Gill Action, and countless other Task Force Action Fund staff and volunteers.”
Human Rights Campaign
“Today’s ruling from Judge McShane affirms what a majority of Oregonians already knew: discrimination has no place in our society, much less the state constitution. The plaintiffs and their tremendous attorneys Lake James Perriguey, Lea Ann Easton, Perkins Coie LLP, the ACLU of Oregon and the ACLU, should be incredibly proud of their historic victory. Thanks to their willingness to fight and the decades of work done by groups like Basic Rights Oregon and countless others, America is now one giant step closer to full equality nationwide.”