Ruling expected Monday on Oregon gay-marriage ban

By

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Same-sex marriages could begin in Oregon as soon as Monday afternoon, depending on a judge's ruling.

U.S. District Judge Michael McShane says he'll issue his ruling at noon Pacific time on a constitutional challenge to the state's gay-marriage ban. Officials in the state's largest county, Multnomah, say they'll begin issuing marriage licenses immediately if his ruling allows it.

Four gay and lesbian couples brought suit arguing Oregon's marriage laws unconstitutionally discriminate against same-sex couples and exclude them from a fundamental right.

Democratic Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum refused to defend the ban, saying there are no legal arguments that could support it in light of decisions last year by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The judge denied a request by the National Organization for Marriage to defend the law on behalf of its Oregon members.

©2014 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.