Same Sex Marriage Ban Challenged in Oregon

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While states across the country have been adopting legislation to legalize same sex marriage, the marriage equality movement has been an uphill battle in certain states. In recent weeks, New Jersey’s governor Chris Christie has filed appeals to overturn the state’s decision to legalize same sex marriage. Officials in North Carolina have also fought against legislation that will make it legal for gays to marry in their state. While the marriage equality movement has been gaining steam, gays have nonetheless been tasked with fighting to enjoy equal rights in many states.

Attorneys for two same sex couples in the state of Oregon have filed a suit to challenge the state’s constitutional ban on same sex marriage. This suit will be the first of its kind in the state, and will open a discussion about whether Oregon will be the next state to allow gays to legally marry and enjoy all of the rights and privileges of heterosexual married couples.

The suit, which was filed with the US District Court of Oregon, challenges the 2004 Ballot Measure 36 which makes it illegal for gays to marry in the state. The issue of whether marriage should be between opposite sex couples or extended to gays is one that has polarized both the country and the legal community. When Massachusetts decided to legalize gay marriage, many states clamored to create amendments to their constitutions that made gay marriage illegal.

As of October 2013, 14 states have made gay marriage legal either by popular vote or court decision. Thirty-five states ban same sex marriage and proponents of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) have fought vehemently to keep same sex marriage illegal. Massachusetts was the first state to make gay marriage legal in 2004, and it would take another four years for Connecticut to follow suit. Twelve other states would follow, with New Jersey being the most recent state to enact legislation to make gay marriage legal in 2013.

With couples in Oregon fighting through the court system to make gay marriage legal, the same sex marriage movement is changing the way we view marriage in the United States.

 

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