NOM Steps Up Aggression Toward Oregon Attorney General’s Refusal to Defend Gay Marriage Ban

The National Organization for Marriage has responded to Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum’s brief urging U.S. District Judge Michael McShane to reject the organization’s attempts to intervene in a case challenging the state's ban on gay marriage.

The Oregonian reports:

RosenblumNOM, which has fought same-sex marriage laws around the country, on Friday rejected legal arguments made by Rosenblum [pictured] and the plaintiffs arguing that the group shouldn't be allowed to intervene.  Rosenblum charged the group filed unreasonably late in the case and doesn't have standing to substitute its judgment for the "chief law officer's conclusions."

The NOM brief said that while Rosenblum made clear on Feb. 20 that she wouldn't defend the law, it wasn't until March 18 "that the full depth of her dereliction of duty became apparent."

That's when Rosenblum said in a brief that McShane should apply a tough "heightened scrutiny" standard, used in cases involving fundamental rights, to passing judgment on Oregon's same-sex marriage ban, NOM said.  The organization also charged that Rosenblum "disparagingly characterized Oregon's citizens who voted in favor of Oregon's marriage amendment" when she said those voters wanted to "to enshrine in the state constitution a belief that same-sex couples are disfavored."

The paper adds:

The marriage group is seeking to intervene on behalf of NOM members who are a county clerk in Oregon, people involved in the wedding business and voters who approved Measure 36. In each case, though, NOM said it was unsuccessful in getting anyone to publicly attach their name to NOM's legal action because they feared reprisals.  Even though these NOM members remain anonymous, the group insisted it has the right to intervene on behalf of them.

McShane will hold oral arguments on Wednesday to discuss whether NOM should be allowed to intervene in the case to defend the state's constitutional provision against same-sex marriage - approved by voters back in 2004.