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BREAKING NEWS! Oregon State Supreme Court Rules in Li. V State of Oregon

The Oregon Supreme Court handed down a ruling today in the case of Li V. State of Oregon.

The summary of the court's opinion is as follows:

"In summary, we conclude as follows. First, since the effective date of Measure 36, marriage in Oregon has been limited under the Oregon Constitution to opposite-sex couples. Second, Oregon statutory law in existence before the effective date of Measure 36 also limited, and continues to limit, the right to obtain marriage licenses to opposite-sex couples. Third, marriage licenses issued to same-sex couples in Multnomah County before that date were issued without authority and were void at the time that they were issued, and we therefore need not consider the independent effect, if any, of Measure 36 on those marriage licenses. In short, none of plaintiffs' claims properly before the court is well taken. Finally, the abstract question whether ORS chapter 106 confers marriage benefits in violation of Article I, section 20, of the Oregon Constitution is not properly before the court."

The court has NOT ruled on whether the Oregon Constitution requires equal protections for the relationships of same-sex couples via a civil union.

The positive aspects of this decision, however, are overhshadowed by court's decision to invalidate the more than 3,000 marriages performed in Oregon last year. We feel enormous sadness knowing that thousands of same-sex couples who recently celebrated their first anniversaries as married couples have had those marriages painfully revoked.

Nothing about this decision precludes Basic Rights Oregon or the ACLU from continuing to advocate for civil unions in Oregon courts or the Oregon Legislature. Continuing that fight is exactly what we will do.

We know that struggles to end inequality do not succeed overnight. This is the latest chapter in a long movement. Growing public understanding and the momentum of history are on our side.

The experiences of the last year have made us more prepared than ever to successfully argue the fundamental issues of this case. We feel confident as we continue this or related litigation, that Oregon courts will put an end to the exclusion of committed couples from the protections and responsibilities other Oregon families count on.

As we better understand the opinion issued by the court, we will continue to make updated announcements throughout the day.

Click here for the history of the case and a timeline of events.
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