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.