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Ore. governor, AG hail marriage ruling; reaction from supporters, opponents

Monday, May 19, 2014
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PORTLAND, Ore. — Both supporters and opponents of marriage equality spoke out Monday about a federal judge’s ruling striking down Oregon’s ban on same-sex marriage. Both the Governor and the Attorney General supported the ruling, and the state previously declined to defend the ban in court.

Gov. John Kitzhaber (D-Ore.)

Gov. John Kitzhaber (D-Ore.)

Ellen Rosenblum

Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum (D-Ore.)

House Speaker Tina Kotek (D)

House Speaker Tina Kotek (D)

U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.)

U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.)

U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.)

U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.)

No appeal is planned, and as of Monday afternoon gay and lesbian couples are marrying in Oregon.

A sampling of reaction by marriage equality supporters:

Gov. John Kitzhaber:

“The people of this state have come to understand that marriage equality affects our neighbors and our co-workers and the people next to us at the grocery store. It affects loving families that are committed to one another.”

Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum:

“The U.S. District Court concluded, as I did in the position I took on behalf of the state defendants, that Oregon’s constitutional ban is not defensible under the United States Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause. I did not take lightly my decision not to defend the Oregon constitution in this matter.”

Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek:

“After a ten-year engagement, my partner Aimee and I are thrilled to join the many other Oregon couples getting married this year.”

U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley:

“Today is a momentous day in Oregon’s fight for equality. Lifetime love and commitment should be celebrated and honored, not relegated to second-class status. Today, Oregon is a better place for all who live here.”

U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden:

“Judge Michael McShane’s decision marks a significant moment in Oregon’s civil rights history, and it’s an important step toward equal rights for all Americans. Every American deserves the freedom to marry the person they love, and, starting today, all Oregonians will have that choice.”

In the middle:

Oregon House Republican Leader Mike McLane:

“For those that believe marriage is a religious covenant, the origin of which predates America, today’s federal court ruling won’t change that. For those that believe marriage is a legal union between two people that is recognized and enforced by our state government, today’s ruling is a logical extension of the Supreme Court’s ruling last summer. Our society must embrace both views. My hope is that the process of reconciliation in Oregon will continue as we move forward with respect for each other.”

And from opponents:

Oregon Catholic Conference:

“It is a travesty of justice that marriage, as the foundation of society, received no defense in the U.S. District Court. Attorney General, Ellen Rosenblum, in an extreme dereliction of her sworn duty to uphold the law, refused to represent the interests and the people of Oregon. It is a sad day for democracy when one federally appointed judge can overturn, without any representation, the express will of the people of Oregon.”

Oregon Family Council:

“From every appearance, key elected officials in collusion with special interests and a single federal judge have taken the sacred constitutional process of lawmaking and turned it into a coordinated publicity stunt.

Associated Press contributed to this report.

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