The ban on same-sex marriage in Oregon was struck down on Monday, May 19 and ruled as unconstitutional by U.S. District Judge Michael McShane. The decision and announcement were made at noon.
“I was very happy,” said Sam Burress, staff member at the SOU Queer Resource Center. “It’s definitely something I’m for and that I think should have been okayed a long time ago.”
This is the first time in 10 years that marriage equality has been allowed in Oregon after being voted to be banned in 2004. The Monday ruling allowed couples to start getting married effective immediately.
“It was just kind of like a big sigh of relief,” said Burress.
SOU student Katie Douglas first heard about it from the blogging site Tumblr, getting more and more excited as she moved over to Facebook and saw couples posting about the news. Douglas said she was “trying not to shout with joy.”
Celebrations took place around the state, and ministers stood in the plaza in downtown Ashland ready to marry couples that afternoon. Burress said that those at the QRC had a party that afternoon to celebrate.
Jaimie Armstrong, volunteer at the QRC, was at home with their partner waiting to hear the news, knowing the ban could potentially be overturned. Armstrong says they were excited when the ruling was announced.
“For a long time as other states have made this same ruling or put other legislation, I thought ‘Oregon, you’re so behind the times,’” said Armstrong.
Oregon is now the 18th state in the U.S. that allows same-sex couples to marry.
“I’m a little bit more proud of my state,” said Armstrong.