As Idaho lawmakers and gay rights advocates continue to scuffle over a federal judge's recent ruling striking down the state's gay marriage ban, and then the almost immediate stay issued directly after the ruling, still making it impossible for same-sex couples to marry, the state of Oregon gets closer to making its own decision on the matter.
The Northwest News Network reports
that an Oregon judge is set to rule on a case that could legalize same-sex marriage in the state on May 19. U.S. District Judge Michael McShane said he'll issue a ruling at 12 p.m., Pacific Time.
Like Idaho's case, prompted when four lesbian couples went to file for marriage licenses at the Ada County Courthouse and were denied, Oregon's case pits four same-sex couples against the state of Oregon, which bans gay marriage. Gay rights advocates say a ruling in their favor would allow all same-sex couples to be legally married in the state.
Oregon state said it's ready to distribute marriage license applications immediately to same-sex couples if the judge overturns the ban. Last week, the same judge refused to allow a national group's last-minute attempt to defend the 2004 voter-approved ballot measure keeping the ban in place. The National Organization for Marriage
said at the time it plans to appeal the decision.
If the judge rules against gay marriage, Oregon voters could have a chance to overturn the ban this fall.