U.S. District Judge Michael McShane, an openly gay Federal judge, who was appointed to the Federal court last year by President Obama, struck down Oregon's voter-approved same-sex marriage ban on Monday.
McShane, who is currently raising a child with his same-sex partner, has claimed rather disingenuously that he has no conflict of interest in the case because he has no intention of marrying his partner.
'McShane ruled the voter-approved ban unconstitutionally discriminates against same-sex couples, and he ordered the state to stop enforcing it,' the AP reported.
"I believe that if we can look for a moment past gender and sexuality, we can see in these plaintiffs nothing more or less than our own families," wrote McShane, who no doubt sees in these plaintiffs his own family, which consists of a gay couple and a son - whom, according to McShane, do not pose a conflict of interest.
After Oregon's Attorney General declined to defend the ban, the National Organization for Marriage sought to intervene in the court case and to represent voters who approved the 2004 state constitutional amendment which defined marriage as between one man and a woman, but McShane rejected its request.
Scotus Blog reported that McShane, who claims to have no personal conflict of interest in the case, "closed his opinion with a number of personal observations about an anti-gay game that was played in his youth and about how his son had recently looked at a sweater given him for Christmas and dismissed it, saying 'Dad….that is so gay.' This, the judge said, is part of the legacy that has been handed down to today’s generation from a “darker level” of gay bashing in the past."
McShane, in his written opinion, seems to base his ruling on the assertion that a ban on same sex marriage is discriminatory toward a particular sex orientation, namely gays, and deprives them of their equal rights
"It is beyond question that Oregon's marriage laws place burdens upon same-gender couples that are not placed upon opposite-gender couples." McShane writes. "This classification implicates the Equal Protection Clause ["A law declaring that in general it shall be more difficult for one group of citizens than for all others to seek aid from the government is itself a denial of protection of the laws in the most literal sense."] The Equal Protection Clause does not allow classifications drawn solely for the purpose of disadvantaging a particular group intentionally singled out for unequal treatment."
But of course, contrary to McShane's biased view [and his conflict of interest], there is nothing discriminatory about Oregon's marriage laws. For ultimately, the real question is: how do we define marriage? If we define marriage as being solely between a man and a woman, then only a man and woman couple can receive federal marital benefits. And, just as there is nothing discriminatory about depriving non married couples from receiving federal marital benefits, there is nothing discriminatory about depriving gay couples from receiving federal marital benefits, if their union does not fit the definition of "marriage".
McShane then goes on to besmirch and shame religion, which might prompt some to suggest that perhaps he should change his name to Michael "McShame":
"I am aware that a large number of Oregonians, perhaps even a majority, have religious or moral objections to expanding the definition of civil marriage (and thereby expanding the benefits and rights that accompany marriage) to gay and lesbian families," McShame writes. "It was' these same objections that led to the passage of Measure 36 in 2004.
"Generations of Americans, my own included, were raised in a world in which homosexuality was believed to be a moral perversion, a mental disorder, or a mortal sin. I remember that one of the more popular playground games of my childhood was called "smear the queer"... Even today I am reminded of the legacy that we have bequeathed today' s generation when my son looks dismissively at the sweater I bought him for Christmas and, with a roll of his eyes, says "dad ... that is so gay.
"It is not surprising then that many of us raised with such a world view would wish to protect our beliefs and our families by turning to the ballot box to enshrine in law those traditions we have come to value. But just as the Constitution protects the expression of these moral viewpoints, it equally protects the minority from being diminished by them."
After he finishes attacking religion and smearing all those whose religious beliefs compel them to oppose same sex marriage, Mr. McShame engages in a bit of hypocrisy and double talk, as he criticizes those who hurl "accusations of religious bigotry", when he himself just finished hurling "accusations of religious bigotry" and basically smeared all religious opponents of same sex marriage.
"It is at times difficult to see past the shrillness of the debate." McShane continues. "Accusations of religious bigotry and banners reading "the Lord Hates Fags" make for a messy democracy and, at times, test the First Amendment resolve of both sides. At the core of the Equal Protection Clause, however, there exists a foundational belief that certain rights should be shielded from the barking crowds;
that certain rights are subject to ownership by all and not the stake hold of popular trend or shifting majorities."
Sadly, however, the "popular trend" [and perhaps the shifting majorities] happens to be Mr. McShame and his phony talking points.
Ultimately, Mr. McShame is a bigoted and despicable hypocrite who assails and denigrates religion!
He should have been recused from this case due to conflict of interest - and his bigotry - but sadly Oregon is now stuck with McShane's convoluted, biased and prejudiced ruling.