Openly gay bishop arrives in Oregon on same day federal judge overturns gay marriage ban

Openly gay bishop arrives in Oregon on same day federal judge overturns gay marriage ban »Play Video

PORTLAND, Ore. - Gene Robinson of New Hampshire became the first openly gay bishop in the U.S. in 2003.  He is a bishop in the Episcopal church.

Robinson arrived in Portland for a speech Monday, only to find out a federal judge had struck down Oregon’s ban on same sex marriage the same day.

“When we planned it all, we had no idea this would be the day, said Robinson. “As a coincidence, I was due to speak here tonight at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral. But then this happened. I get off the plane and it's a whole new world in Portland, and not just because the sun is shining!”

Robinson believes the federal judge who overturned Oregon gay marriage ban wrote an exceptional opinion justifying that decision.

“Judge McShane's ruling, was just elegantly and wonderfully worded," Robinson said. "You know, he basically said two things. One, was that there is no compelling interest that the state has to prevent marriage by same gender couples. And the second is that those same gender couples only want what every couple wants - which is love and commitment over the long haul and , if they so choose, a wonderful environment to raise children.”

“The Constitution is there, and the judiciary is there, to protect the minority from a majority that may be overstepping their own bounds.” Robinson stated. “It certainly establishes a kind of legal equality that's really, really important.”

Robinson says the change brings more than just marriage equality to Oregon.

“One thing people don't understand is that when we get gay marriage, we get gay divorce,” he said. “Gay people, gay couples, have never been protected by divorce rules before.”

He added, “It is remarkable what has happened, but there are still people who are not comfortable with it. And until people see that the roofs of buildings and churches don't fall in just because gay people can get married. I think befor every long, we'll look back and wonder what, what were we thinking the big deal was.”