Federal Judge to Hear Challenge to Oregon Gay Marriage Ban Today with No Parties to Defend It

U.S. District Judge Michael McShane will hear arguments challenging Oregon's ban on same-sex marriage in a Salem court today at 1:30 pm, and, as we reported earlier, no parties will be in court to defend the measure.

McshaneOn Monday, realizing that there were no parties speaking up for the anti-gays, NOM decided that it was time to butt in to the case, and filed a motion to intervene.

The AP reports that McShane has delayed a decision on that motion:

The National Organization for Marriage, a national group opposed to same-sex marriage, filed a last-minute motion this week to intervene in the Oregon case, hoping to defend the constitutionality of the ban. McShane said Tuesday that he'll consider the group's request next month and, if he grants it, he'll hold new oral arguments so the group can defend the ban.

McShane said he won't rule on the constitutionality of the same-sex marriage ban until he's decided whether the National Organization for Marriage has legal standing to defend it.

The plaintiffs argue that the ban is unconstitutionally discriminatory because it serves no legitimate government interest.

NOM had also asked the court to delay Wednesday's hearing:

“A continuance would allow NOM an opportunity to prepare a final and more comprehensive brief in opposition and also allow Plaintiffs an opportunity to file Reply briefs addressing the substantive legal issues that NOM will raise in its brief in opposition,” NOM explained in its request.

The motion “is DENIED as untimely,” McShane ordered.

As you may recall, this is a similar situation to the Proposition 8 case, in which the standing of parties to defend the ban was questioned, and we know how that went.


  1. Hey Darlin' says

    When NOM shows up, it’s usually more about saving face and perpetuating a non-existent cause. They still think we’ll fall for the idea that there is national outrage over marriage equality. Sometimes there’s not even opposition, much less outrage.

  2. Arrow says

    No one cares, but don’t test it by walking around with your husband/wife showing affection. It may be safe on a college campus, among the deluded non-existent causers.

  3. Randy says

    How can there be a federal court decision on anything, if there’s no defence? Where’s the “controversy” the court is resolving?

  4. simon says

    To mess things up, all the gay organizations like FRC, GLAaD should also intervene. The court probably would set up a philosophical debate between the two sides. Of course that would have nothing to do with the case.

  5. says

    I was thinking the same thing Randy–Way different situation, but if a police officer doesn’t appear in court to defend his issuance of a ticket, the ticket is thrown out. Shouldn’t the same policy apply here?

  6. Zlick says

    The opposing party is the State of Oregon, whether or not it sends someone to the hearing. Perhaps it’s akin to the Prop 8 situation in California, where no state official wanted to defend that law in court. So the ballot proponents were allowed to stand in for the state, which shenanigans ultimately did not fly with the U.S. Supreme Court.

    Anyway, I read just recently the Oregon judge has refused to delay the hearing, so NOM’s out of luck once again.

  7. Retro says

    At this point, the ban in Oregon seems more like a ‘hindrance,’ since couples who have the money for gas and a three-day motel stay can travel over the border and get married in Washington State or California and return married with Oregon recognizing it. I mean, if the state’s gonna recognize the marriage anyway, you’d think they’d want to get that $60 license fee. ..lol!