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Oregon couples challenge same-sex marriage ban

Lawyers for two Portland same-sex couples on Tuesday filed a lawsuit [complaint, PDF] in the US District Court for the District of Oregon [official website] challenging the state's ban on same-sex marriage. The plaintiffs' claim is based on violations of due process and equal protection under the Fourteenth Amendment. They claim that Article 15 Section 5a of the Oregon Constitution [text, PDF] denies plaintiffs their fundamental right to choose whom to marry and unduly restricts civil marriages to individuals of the opposite sex. The Ballot Measure 36 [text] that prevents the state from recognizing same-sex marriages was approved in 2004.

The heated debate regarding same-sex marriage [JURIST backgrounder] is one of the most polarizing [JURIST op-ed] issues currently facing the US legal community. Earlier this week Buncombe County Register of Deeds [official website] Drew Reisinger began accepting [JURIST report] marriage license applications from same-sex couples and requested review of the decision from North Carolina's Attorney General [official website]. A 2012 amendment to North Carolina's Constitution currently bans same-sex marriage [JURIST report]. The Supreme Court of New Jersey [official website] last week agreed to hear an appeal by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie challenging a lower court ruling that same-sex couples must be allowed to marry [JURIST reports]. Last month Michigan's Treasury Department ruled [JURIST report] that same-sex spouses must file separate tax returns. Also last month a judge for the US District Court for the Southern District of Ohio expanded a lawsuit [JURIST report] seeking the recognition of same-sex spouses on death certificates.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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