Same-sex marriage rally at Terry Schrunk Plaza

Oregon legalized same-sex marriage in 2014

Staffers gather outside Portland City Hall hours after the US Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage, June 26, 2015 (Tweet: MayorPDX)
Staffers gather outside Portland City Hall hours after the US Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage, June 26, 2015 (Tweet: MayorPDX)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — In the wake of the US Supreme Court’s decision legalizing same-sex marriage in all 50 states, supporters in the Portland area rallied Friday at Terry Schrunk Plaza.

Dozens of people waved flags, clapped and cheered the news, including John Halseth and Robin Castro, who are engaged.

“It really is wonderful.” said Halseth.

Castro added “This is very exciting. It’s a great day for Oregon but even a greater day for all the other 49 states.”

On May 19, 2014, a federal judge struck down Oregon’s same-sex marriage ban, saying it is unconstitutional. U.S. District Judge Michael McShane threw out the voter-approved ban that day.

Four gay and lesbian couples brought suit arguing Oregon’s marriage laws unconstitutionally discriminate against same-sex couples and exclude them from a fundamental right.

In April 2015, the US Supreme Court refused to hear an attempt to reverse a federal judge’s decision that allowed gays and lesbians to begin marrying in Oregon.

Since same-sex marriage is already legal in Oregon and Washington, Friday’s ruling means protection for gay couples.

“It gives us assurance the law won’t change underneath us which we really didn’t know for sure.” said attorney Mark Johnson Roberts. “If you’re married in one state and you go across state lines and you’re not married. With today’s rulings those days are over.”

In a statement, Gov. Kate Brown said: “Today, love wins. The United States Supreme Court extended the right to marry nationwide, giving couples and families the freedoms and recognition they deserve.

“I am grateful to the many people, some of them Oregonians, who lent their voices to the fight for marriage equality. Let’s acknowledge the steps these courageous individuals took in the name of love.

“In the words of Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, ‘No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family,’ he wrote. ‘In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were.’

“While the Supreme Court has upheld the union of marriage, our work is not done. Let us remember that we still must strive to end discrimination and hate so that all people live with dignity. Love who you want to love. Marry who you want to marry. Be who you are, and celebrate.”



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