News (USA)

Oregon AG asks court to deny NOM request to intervene in gay marriage case

Oregon AG asks court to deny NOM request to intervene in gay marriage case

SALEM, Ore. — Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum has asked a federal judge not to allow the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) to intervene in a case to overturn the state’s ban on same-sex marriage.

Ellen Rosenblum
Ellen Rosenblum AP

“Neither the organization nor its anonymous members have a valid basis to intervene simply because they disagree with the position articulated by the state’s chief law officer,” Rosenblum said, in a motion filed in U.S. District Court on Friday.

“This court should deny the motion to intervene as untimely and without merit,” Rosenblum wrote, reports the Statesman Journal.

The NOM is seeking legal standing in the case because Rosenblum has declined to defend the ban, saying it “cannot withstand a federal constitutional challenge under any standard of review.”

Last month, U.S. District Judge Michael McShane denied the NOM’s eleventh hour request to postpone a long-scheduled hearing in the case, and heard oral arguments asking him to strike down the ban.

McShane said he would consider NOM’s motion to intervene on May 14, and, if he grants it, he’ll hold new oral arguments so the group can defend the ban.

Plaintiffs in the challenge are four same-sex couples who filed two federal lawsuits challenging Oregon’s 2004 constitutional amendment that defines marriage as between one man and one woman. McShane consolidated the cases earlier this year.

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Plaintiffs say the ban, known as Measure 36, is unconstitutionally discriminatory because it serves no legitimate government interest and violates their constitutional guarantees of equal protection and due process.

NOM Chairman John Eastman has also argued that McShane has a potential conflict of interest because he is in a same-sex relationship with another man and is raising a child with him.

McShane is one of just nine openly gay members of the federal judiciary, according to the Human Rights Campaign.

Follow this case: Geiger v. Kitzhaber.

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