A federal judge struck down same-sex marriage in Oregon on Monday, calling the state's 2004 constitutional ban on gay marriage unenforceable under federal law. That meant gay couples all over the state were finally free to apply for marriage licenses, and supporters of the decision had the chance to celebrate another step toward equality for gay men and women under the law.
The state is the 18th in the country, plus DC, to recognize same-sex marriages. States that banned or disallowed gay marriages have faced legal challenges following last year's Supreme Court decision striking down certain aspects of the federal Defense Against Marriage Act (DOMA), which specified that marriage is between a man and a woman.
DOMA was a big hurdle for same-sex couples seeking the right to marry. Its partial repeal means couples nationwide have had a lot of success challenging laws banning gay marriage in their states over the past year. At the same time, states where same-sex marriage bans hadn't passed have moved in the opposite direction, toward legalizing marriages for everyone regardless of gender.
Here are a few of the couples who were married in Oregon on Monday.
1. Paul and Ben
Ben West and Paul Rummel were plaintiffs in the case that led District Court Judge Michael McShane to overturn the ban. To celebrate their victory, they took their son Jay to get their marriage license on Monday.
2. Julie and Laurie
3. Janine and Deanna
Janine Nelson and Deanna Geiger, two more plaintiffs, were the first to be married in Multnomah County on Monday.
4. Richard and Bert
Richard Glenn and Bert Boehm had been together more than three decades before marrying in Oregon.
5. This Eugene, Oregon Couple
These two were the first in line to get married in Eugene, Oregon.
Image: Facebook/Oregon United for Marriage.