Thursday, May 15, 2014

UPDATE: Outside Group Seeks to Defend Oregon's Ban on Gay Marriage

Posted By on Thu, May 15, 2014 at 9:25 AM

UPDATE: May 15, 2014 9:30 a.m.

A federal judge in Eugene, Ore., has denied a national group's attempt to defend Oregon's ban on same-sex marriage, the Northwest News Network reports. The National Organization for Marriage stepped up at the last minute to defend the decade-old voter-approved ballot measure that marriage is between a man and a woman, on the state's behalf.

U.S. District Judge Michael McShane said the national organization failed to prove why it should be allowed to intervene in the case in which four same-sex couples sued Oregon to overturn the state's gay marriage ban.

The ruling came immediately after the hearing Wednesday morning. Gay rights activists say they take hope in the ruling, while an attorney for the National Organization for Marriage said his group plans to appeal the judge's decision.

ORIGINAL POST: May 14, 2014 10 a.m.

As many Idahoans celebrate in the wake of Tuesday’s ruling handed down by a federal judge declaring Idaho’s ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional, now it’s Oregon’s turn to decide.

The Northwest News Network reported this morning that a federal judge in Eugene, Ore., will hear arguments from a group that wants to defend a voter-approved ban on gay marriage.

Like Idaho, four same-sex couples sued the state of Oregon to overturn the 2004 ballot measure defining marriage as between a man and a woman. When Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum declined to defend the law, the National Organization for Marriage filed a last-minute motion to be allowed to defend the measure on the state’s behalf.

U.S. District Judge Michael McShane will hear arguments on whether the national organization should be allowed to intervene. The group’s chairman, John Eastman, told Northwest News Network, “An attorney general’s obligation is to defend a statue if there are plausible arguments to be made in defense of it. She’s not only not done that, but has affirmatively started attacking the statute it’s her job to defend.”

Eastman says he’s prepared to appeal if the judge rules they cannot intervene in the case.

Idaho’s fight to allow gay marriage may not be over, as Gov. “Butch” Otter has promised to appeal the federal court decision overturning the ban, and he’s willing to go all the way to the Supreme Court. 

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