June 25th, 2014 9:20 am | by KATE WILLSON News | Posted In: Activism, Gay Rights, Legislature, PDX News, Religion, Politics

Utah, Indiana Same-Sex Marriage Bans Ruled Unconsitutional

marriageequalitymarchA Rally in front of the U.S. Supreme Court, March 2013 - Elvert Barnes Protest Photography

A federal appeals court today ruled that Utah's ban on same-sex marriage violate couples' constitutional rights, the Los Angeles Times reports. It's the first time a U.S. Court of Appeals has weighed in on the issue.

Last month U.S. District Judge Michael McShane ruled Oregon's ban violates citizens’ constitutional rights.

Today's ruling is the first time a higher court has upheld a lower court's decision, in a legal battle that appears headed back to the U.S. Supreme Court.  

"A state may not deny the issuance of a marriage license to two persons, or refuse to recognize their marriage, based solely upon the sex of the persons in the marriage union," the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals wrote in its decision. 

Also today a federal judge in Indiana ruled that state's ban on same-sex marriage violates gay couples' federal constitutional rights, the Indianapolis Star reports

"In less than a year, every federal district court to consider the issue has reached the same conclusion in thoughtful and thorough opinions – laws prohibiting the celebration and recognition of same-sex marriages are unconstitutional," U.S. District Judge Richard Young wrote in his opinion on Indiana's law.

"It is clear that the fundamental right to marry shall not be deprived to some individuals based solely on the person they choose to love. In time, Americans will look at the marriage of couples such as Plaintiffs, and refer to it simply as a marriage – not a[s] same-sex marriage. These couples, when gender and sexual orientation are taken away, are in all respects like the family down the street. The Constitution demands that we treat them as such."

Unlike Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum, who refused to defend Oregon's ban, Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller has said he will seek a stay in weddings while his office appeals the ruling. 

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