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Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Oregon Legislature. This is a venue for political and policy coverage of the state government in Salem and its impact on the people of Oregon.

Oregon Judge Set To Issue Ruling In Gay Marriage Lawsuit

M.O. Stevens

A federal judge in Oregon is set to rule Monday in a case that could legalize same-sex marriage in the state. U.S. District Judge Michael McShane says he'll issue a ruling at noon.

The case pits four same-sex couples against the state of Oregon, which bans gay marriage. Gay rights advocates say a ruling in their favor would open the door for all same-sex couples to be legally married in Oregon.

The state says it's ready to distribute marriage license applications immediately to same-sex couples if the judge overturns the ban. Last week Judge McShane turned down a national group's last-minute attempt to defend the 2004 voter-approved ballot measure.

If the judge rules against gay marriage, Oregon voters could have a chance to overturn the ban this fall.