The ruling came down from U.S. District Judge Michael McShane.

In February, Oregon AG Ellen Rosenblum had refused to enforce or defend the state's ban concerning the legal challenge from the four couples.  She called the ban "indefensible."

Oregon voters had added the ban to the state constitution in 2004.  Pro same-sex groups had claimed they had enough signatures to put the measure on the November ballot, but said if the ruling had come before May 23rd, they would have dropped that plan.

Multnomah County officials say they will start issuing marriage licenses for same-sex couples immediately.   In 2013 the Supreme Court struck down the 1996 Defense of Marriage act, claiming it denied same-sex couples "due process."

An appeals court also denied a last-minute request blocked an emergency stay that would have held up McShane's ruling, or put it on hold.