Oregon residents: It is now safe to move about the marriage cabin. You can collect your dresses, tuxedos and crocs as you pass "Go" and vacation with the thousands of tax dollars that might be owed to you (just as long as you promise not to spend it all in Arizona). Welcome to the West Coast Marriage Club -- we've been saving you a seat at the fabulously boisterous table.
Openly gay U.S. District Judge Michael McShane ruled in the consolidated case of Rummell v. Kitzhaber and Geiger v. Kitzhaber just before noon Monday that banning marriage for same-sex couples in Oregon was unconstitutional "because Oregon's marriage laws discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation without a rational relationship to any legitimate government interest, the laws violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution."
File this under "It's about time" and grab a dinner plate. Currently, we have 17 seats at the National Marriage Club table, plus the District of Columbia, so it might get a little crowded, but we'll squeeze together. If Jesus could do it for the Last Supper, there's no reason why we can't do the same for you, Oregon. Hell, sit on your neighbor's lap -- they won't mind (Washington State recently legalized marijuana and should be used to this type of awkward situation). After all, it's time to celebrate, and with Pride being right around the corner, "We Are Family" should be playing in the background right about now anyway.
Ready for some dessert? Here's the best part: The state's attorney general, Ellen Rosenblum, said earlier this year that she would not defend the ban against legal challenges. Time for some pie and whipped cream! (We'll turn around and let you have whatever privacy you'd like with that whipped cream, Oregon). In fact, you may just want to pack it up and jump into the car toward Multnomah County where you can tie the knot almost immediately.
"Today Judge McShane did the right thing for families, affirming that the denial of marriage to committed same-sex couples in Oregon is unconstitutional," said Thalia Zepatos, director of public engagement at Freedom to Marry and a key adviser to Oregon United for Marriage. "In recognition of the strong support for marriage among Oregonians, no one with legal standing, including our state Attorney General, wanted to go down in history as defending discrimination. Across the country, the courts agree: Same-sex couples and their families need the protections of marriage, and anti-marriage laws are indefensible. With over 70 marriage cases now making their way through the courts, today's decision in Oregon underscores that all of America is ready for the freedom to marry."
The concept of full equality nationwide is baffling, is it not? It's 2014. We can bring Michael Jackson back from the dead in a hologram, but we're still fighting for marriage equality in more than half of the U.S. Perhaps a little inspiration from Miley Cyrus and her inflatable penis would assist the masses with overcoming whatever fear they possess about our sex lives. After all, once you're married the sex part of your life dwindles anyway...just a little food for thought.
As progressives in the marriage equality movement have said for years, we all knew that striking down 1996's Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) wouldn't be the end of the line for us. Unfortunately, there would be state DOMAs to contend with along the way. Well, today, you can throw that state DOMA aside, Oregon, and revel in the circus that is marriage.