Same-sex marriage is a widely debated issue among American citizens. The issue of whether or not to allow it in each state has led to multiple court cases, including the complex litigation involving Geiger v. Kitzhaber in Oregon.
The federal court in Oregon is currently hearing arguments, with the goal of many to make same-sex marriage legal. There are no legal arguments to keep the ban in place, even though voters approved the ban in 2004. However, there are many in support of lifting the ban. Many believe it is discriminatory, with lawyers claiming that the ban serves no real purpose and does more harm than good to Oregon citizens.
In addition, the law is believed to be unconstitutional. The country's Constitution includes an equal protection clause that does not allow the government to treat a class of people differently from others.
Opponents of gay marriage believe that heterosexual marriage creates a stable family unit that includes children. However, those in defense of gay marriage counter that not every marriage leads to children. Many couples are unable to procreate or simply have no desire to do so. In addition, many gay couples successfully adopt children and provide loving environments.
There is a lot of debate over allowing same-sex marriage and because not every state allows it, it comes with issues for those who do get married. For example, a couple that is married in a state that does allow it cannot get divorced in a state that doesn't allow it. It can be a confusing and frustrating situation for those involved, and it is hopeful that the laws will change and make marriages and divorces easier for every type of couple.
Source: StatesmanJournal.com, "Oregon's same-sex marriage ban in court this week" Johnathan J. Cooper, Apr. 21, 2014