March 12, 2004

'Bout Time!!

VIA Don of nitecrawler, good news from Oregon (and probably for the entire nation -- or those that support marriage equality):

Attorney general says gay marriage ban probably invalid

SALEM, Ore. (AP/CHARLES E. BEGGS) Oregon Attorney General Hardy Myers said Friday that banning same-sex marriage probably violates Oregon's Constitution, effectively placing the issue in the hands of the state's highest court.

Myers' nonbinding written opinion also said current state law forbids counties from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, as Multnomah County has been doing for about a week.

"The Oregon Supreme Court likely would conclude that withholding from same-sex couples the legal rights, benefits and obligations that under current law are automatically granted to married couples of the opposite sex violates" the constitution, Myers said.

Myers' opinion is not binding on counties, and Gov. Ted Kulongoski said at a news conference that the opinion is "fraught with warnings to be careful" about drawing conclusions about any ruling by the high court on the issue.

The gay marriage issue surfaced in Oregon about a week ago, when commissioners in Multnomah County, Oregon's most populous, concluded that a legal review of state law indicated the county could not deny license applications from gays and lesbians. > > >

Posted by ronn at March 12, 2004 07:17 PM