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NEW: US Supreme Court Legalizes Gay Marriage in All 50 States - OR Reacts

Friday, June 26, 2015

 

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote the majority opinion in the 5 to 4 decision for the U.S. Supreme Court theat legalized gay marriage in all 50 states.

The reaction was immediate by many who have long supported the equal rights for gay and lesbian couples.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon (ACLU) applauded the Supreme Court's decision and said that it affirms the conclusion reached last year that Oregon’s marriage ban was unconstitutional.

“This is a momentous win for freedom, equality, inclusion, and above all, love. We can celebrate that America is a place where hearts and minds can change and we believe in liberty and justice for all,” said Jann Carson, associate director of the ACLU of Oregon.

“We are overjoyed with the Supreme Court’s decision today,” said Christine Tanner. She and her now wife, Lisa Chickadonz, were one of the four plaintiff couples, along with Basic Rights Oregon, who successfully challenged Oregon’s marriage ban with the help of the ACLU of Oregon. “The journey to reach this point has been a legal and emotional rollercoaster ride that has, for us, gone on for more than 25 years. To have the highest Court in our country end marriage discrimination once and for all is monumental. We are grateful that ride is finally over, not only for us but for families like ours across the nation.” 

Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) Commissioner Brad Avakian also praised the Supreme Court’s historic ruling.  

“What an extraordinary day – and beautiful, historic ruling. It’s a victory for freedom and an important moment for our country," said Avakian. "All loving, committed same-sex couples will now enjoy ‘equal dignity in the eyes of the law’. Today represents a full expression of our country’s journey of understanding – one that’s based on the notion that same-sex couples deserve to share all the same triumphs and sorrow that marriage entails. This is a landmark victory that makes our society more open, just and free.”

NIKE praised the Supreme Court's ruling as well. 

"The Supreme Court JUST DID IT. This is a historic day for equality and a moment to celebrate," said Mark Parker, President and CEO of NIKE.

Oregon House Republican Leader Mike McLane (R-Powell Butte) encouraged society to "embrace both views."

"For those that believe marriage is a legal union between two people that is recognized and enforced by government, today’s Supreme Court ruling is a confirmation of last summer’s federal court ruling in the state of Oregon," said McLane. "For those that believe marriage is a religious covenant, the origin of which predates America, today's Supreme Court ruling won't change that. Our society must now embrace both views. My hope is that the process of reconciliation in America will continue as we move forward with respect for each other.”

Governor Kate Brown showed her support for the Supreme Court's ruling saying "today, love wins."

"Today, love wins. The United States Supreme Court extended the right to marry nationwide, giving couples and families the freedoms and recognition they deserve.

"I am grateful to the many people, some of them Oregonians, who lent their voices to the fight for marriage equality. Let’s acknowledge the steps these courageous individuals took in the name of love.

"In the words of Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, 'No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family,' he wrote. 'In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were.'

"While the Supreme Court has upheld the union of marriage, our work is not done. Let us remember that we still must strive to end discrimination and hate so that all people live with dignity. Love who you want to love. Marry who you want to marry. Be who you are, and celebrate," said Governor Brown.

Across the country members of Congress and civil rights groups celebrated the marriage equality ruling, and called for full Federal LGBT non-discrimination protections. Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) was one of many leaders to sign the following statement: 

“This decision is a historic moment for equality, fairness and freedom in America. We celebrate this landmark ruling as a tremendous milestone along the path to an America where everyone is truly equal under the law. And we note that it highlights unfinished work that still needs to be done to ensure that all employees are hired, fired or promoted based on their performance, not their sexual orientation or gender identity, and to make sure every American has a fair chance to earn a living and provide for their families, including gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people.

“In dozens of states, a couple can marry in the morning, announce their union in the afternoon, yet lose their jobs or be evicted from their apartment by the day’s end. Just as we needed Congress to pass legislation to fully realize the promise of previous Supreme Court decisions recognizing fundamental civil rights, Congress must act to fully realize the promise of today’s ruling by introducing and passing legislation to finally provide comprehensive federal non-discrimination protections to LGBT Americans.

“Discrimination has no place in employment, housing, public accommodations, education, credit, federal funding, or jury service, just as it has no place in marriage. We are committed to adding protections for LGBT Americans to federal anti-discrimination laws.”

 

 

 

 

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