Proponents of the freedom to marry in Oregon are hailing today’s decision by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit not to rehear en banc (in front of an eleven-judge panel) the landmark case that found California’s Proposition 8 unconstitutional earlier this year.
Proposition 8, which stripped gay and lesbian Californians of the freedom to marry was held unconstitutional by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in February. The court stated in its decision that, “Proposition 8 serves no purpose and has no effect other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California, and to officially reclassify their relationships and families as inferior to those of opposite-sex couples. The constitution simply does not allow for laws of this sort.”
Proponents of Prop 8 have 90 days to file a petition for certiorari, followed by a review by the United States Supreme Court who will decide whether or not to hear the appeal. If the Supreme Court chooses not to rehear the case, Prop 8 will effectively be overturned, once again allowing same-sex couples to legally marry in the state of California.
“We are heartened by this exciting news,” said Basic Rights Oregon Executive Director Jeana Frazzini. “This decision brings us one step closer to the freedom to marry, but we still have a long way to go before caring and committed same-sex couples can marry in Oregon.”
“In Oregon, our path to the freedom to marry requires a vote of the people and we are working to expand support for the freedom to marry. We are traveling all across Oregon talking to people about why marriage matters and expanding our majority for marriage. We have already logged more than 3000 miles in our travels this month alone, and we’re just getting started.”
Background: Because of 2004’s Measure 36, Oregon’s constitution specifically excludes gay and lesbian couples from civil marriage. The legislature cannot amend the constitution and courts have declined to take up this case, so the only path to the freedom to marry in Oregon is through a vote of the people. Basic Rights Oregon is currently engaged in an ongoing, nationally-recognized education campaign to build majority support for the freedom to marry in Oregon. We’re committed to having a dialogue with our friends, family and neighbors and, ultimately, winning the freedom to marry as early as 2014. Over the summer, Basic Rights Oregon will host a series of community conversations across Oregon to build community support for the freedom to marry.
Category: News: Marriage Equality