Same-sex couples in Oregon began marrying on Monday afternoon, obtaining marriage licenses just minutes after a federal judge overturned the state’s ban on gay marriage. U.S. District Judge Michael McShane’s ruling struck down a state constitutional amendment passed by 57 percent of voters in 2004 that defined marriage as between one man and one woman. Oregon is the 18th state to allow gay marriage, and the decision came almost exactly ten years after Massachusetts became the first state to legalize it. In his decision, Judge McShane addressed people who worry that gay marriage is a “slippery slope” that will lead to 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,” he wrote.
Julie Engbloom and Laurie Brown, one of the first couples married on Monday. Photo: Steve Dykes