Mayor Hales officiates at the Melody Ballroom
Pride Parade 2014
SUNDAY, JUNE 15, 2014 -- With the court ruling that same-sex marriage is legal in Oregon, this year's Pride Parade took on extra meaning for many Portlanders. The mayor, members of the City Council, and a wide array of staff took part in this year's celebration -- despite occasional downpours of heavy rain.
Couples Tie the Knot
MONDAY,May 19, 2014 – Couples throughout Oregon lined up Monday to say “I do,” after a federal judge struck down Oregon's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.
Oregon United for Marriage, the group gathering signatures on a potential ballot measure to overturn the ban, reserved the Melody Ballroom for nearly 12 hours Monday to host wedding ceremonies. Among the celebrants was Mayor Charlie Hales, who had gone through the process to be ordained earlier this month, in anticipation of the overturning of the ban.
“This is a day of celebration for all Oregonians,” Hales said. “Take a good look: This is what equality looks like.”
Court watchers had been told that the decision would be announced Monday by Judge Michael McShane of the U.S. District Court. “No legitimate state purpose justifies the preclusion of gay and lesbian couples from civil marriage,” McShane wrote.
Hundreds Attend Vigil for Same-Sex Marriage
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 23, 2014 – Hundreds of people held a vigil Tuesday night at Terry Schrunk Plaza, opposite City Hall, on the eve of a U.S. District Court hearing arguments about Oregon’s ban on same-sex marriage.
Mayor Charlie Hales, Commissioner Nick Fish and a wide array of city leaders were on hand for the vigil, along with U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, Multnomah County Commissioner Marissa Madrigal, and State Sen. Diane Rosenbaum.
“The ban should be overturned,” Mayor Hales said. “We’re here to voice our wholehearted support for a being a ‘whole-hearted’ state – one in which the right to marry is there, equally, for everyone.”
First Lady Nancy Hales was on hand, too.
U.S. District Judge Michael McShane will hold oral arguments at 1:30 p.m. today (Wednesday, April 23) on a legal challenge to Oregon's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. Unlike most court proceedings, in today’s oral arguments, the plaintiffs and defendants both agree that Oregon's prohibition should be struck down. Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum announced in February that she won’t defend the 2004 amendment, saying it now violates federal equal-rights protections.
Nationally, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down parts of the Defense of Marriage Act in 2013. In recent months, federal judges have ruled against laws that prohibit same-sex marriage in five states. And a total of 17 states, along with the District of Columbia, allow same-sex marriages.
The Oregonian’s Jeff Mapes is covering today’s oral arguments. And Twitter followers can keep track of the updates with the tags @OregonianPol and #orgaymarriage.