Following a federal judge's ruling striking down Oregon's ban on gay marriage, Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley released a statement congratulating the state.

(Related: Gay couples start marrying in Oregon following marriage ruling.)

“Today is a momentous day in Oregon’s fight for equality,” Merkley said. “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. This ruling will strengthen families and communities and ensure that every Oregonian is treated equally under the law.”

“I extend my heartfelt congratulations to all the Oregon families who will soon be able to celebrate their love and commitment in the state they call home,” he added.

The ruling makes Oregon the 18th state, in addition to the District of Columbia, to allow gay couples to marry. It is also the 13th consecutive court win for marriage equality advocates since the Supreme Court last year struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which prohibited the federal government from recognizing the marriages of gay couples.