PORTLAND, Ore. — A federal judge struck down Oregon's ban on same-sex marriage Monday — and an hour earlier a federal appeals court denied a request to stop the decision.
State officials have said they would be prepared to carry out same-sex marriages almost immediately, and couples lined up outside Portland-area courthouses before the ruling in anticipation of getting marriage licenses.
"I'm not worried or concerned or nervous about it," said Shilpi Banerjee, who lined up with her partner outside Multnomah County headquarters Monday morning. "It's just an idea whose time has come."
Supporters of same-sex marriage had rushed to file motions Monday morning after the National Organization for Marriage filed an emergency motion asking the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to stop federal District Judge Michael McShane from issuing his noon PT decision.
"NOM's purpose in filing this appeal is not to win. It is to delay plaintiffs' ability to marry in Oregon," lawyers for the plaintiffs said in their response. "The standards governing a stay, even a temporary stay pending consideration of a motion for stay, do not permit this tactic."
The group, which believes that marriage should be between one man and one woman, used Utah to explain why it believed a stay was necessary:
A district court judge overturned Utah's ban on same-sex marriages and couples began to marry, the organization said in its motion. Then, the U.S. Supreme Court intervened and issued a stay in the case, raising questions about the validity of licenses issued in the interim.
Oregon voters approved a state constitutional amendment in 2004 that declared marriage to be only between one man and one woman. Four couples challenged the amendment as federally unconstitutional in fall 2013.
The National Organization for Marriage asked to intervene and defend Oregon's constitutional amendment in April after Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum announced in February that the state would not. McShane denied that request Wednesday.
In his ruling, McShane told National Organization for Marriage officials that a private group couldn't intervene "simply because the organization disagrees with the interpretation" of state and county officials.
The National Organization for Marriage plans to appeal that decision.
Contributing: KGW-TV, Portland, Ore.