Gay and lesbian couples started
marrying on Monday in Oregon following a federal judge's ruling
striking down the state's gay marriage ban as unconstitutional.
In a decision that surprised nobody and
took effect immediately, U.S. District Judge Michael McShane declared
the state's 2004 voter-approved constitutional amendment limiting
marriage to heterosexual couples in violation of “the Equal
Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States
judge strikes down Oregon's gay marriage ban.)
Julie Engbloom and Laurie Brown of
Portland were the first couple to marry.
According to The
Oregonian, the women – together since 2007 – asked Judge
Beth Allen about six months ago whether she would be willing to marry
them. Allen replied, “Gosh, yes.” (A brief video of the three
after the ceremony is embedded on this page. Visit
our video library for more videos.)
Hundreds of additonal gay couples are
expected to marry in Oregon on Monday.