Justice Kennedy rooted the ruling in a fundamental right to marriage. Of special importance to couples, he said, is raising children.
“Without the recognition, stability and predictability marriage offers,” he wrote, “their children suffer the stigma of knowing their families are somehow lesser. They also suffer the significant material costs of being raised by unmarried parents, relegated through no fault of their own to a more difficult and uncertain family life. The marriage laws at issue here thus harm and humiliate the children of same-sex couples.”
This has been a legal issue on the radar since at least 2004. Hardy Myers, then acting Attorney General for Oregon, pointed out in a March 2004 opinion that children of same-sex couples are monetarily discriminated against by the government because of the sexual orientation of their parents. This makes them a minority class deserving of special protection -- which they don't get. (http://johnburridge.blogspot.com/2009/06/lgbt-pride-month.html)
Oddly, I can't seem to find his March 12(?) 2004 non-binding opinion piece at http://www.doj.state.or.us/releases/pages/index_2004.aspx Which basically said, the Oregon Supreme Court will probably rule that either or both homosexuals and their children are a minority class deserving special protection under Article 1, Section 20 of the Oregon constitution, but we should punt this to the tyrannical majority for a vote (Measure 36, amending Oregon's Constitution to define marriage as between one man and one woman, passed that later November).
The Supreme Court's decision is here: http://www.supremecourt.gov/