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Move on

U.S. District Court Judge Michael McShane’s ruling that Oregon’s referendum banning gay marriage is unconstitutional is welcome and should close the door on the discussion in Oregon.

It’s time to move on to other issues that people can argue and debate about. Oregon becomes the 18th state to allow same-sex marriages; the writing has been on the wall since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down provisions of the Federal Defense of Marriage Act. With the exception perhaps of some southeast states, gay marriage seems to be on the march to be allowed in most states within a few years.

Those people who oppose same-sex marriage will continue to try to find ways to rescind recent court rulings across the country. Opponents should take note that Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum decided not to defend the voter-approved gay marriage ban before Judge McShane.  McShane and the U.S. Ninth Court of Appeals both ruled that outside groups had no standing in the case of four gay couples against the state seeking to overturn the ban.

Judges in some of the nation’s most conservative states—Utah, Idaho, Oklahoma, Arkansas—have struck down same-sex marriage bans. States such as Kentucky, Tennessee and Indiana have been ordered to recognize gay marriages from other states.

Many people can’t understand why others put so much effort into denying happiness for others. The pursuit of happiness is one of the unalienable rights listed in the Declaration of Independence, written by the forefathers that some are always citing as the last word in governing society.

Another person’s happiness should not be dependent on the ideological or religious views of others. Gay marriage does not destroy traditional marriage between a man and a woman, it doesn’t even threaten it—never has and never will.

Gay marriage is now legal in Oregon. It’s time for the body politic to move on and target other issues that warrant attention, such as developing our economy, increasing graduation rates, protecting our natural resources.

There are plenty of things for people to disagree about. Let’s put the same-sex marriage debate behind us once and for all.