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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.

NOM Files Motion To Intervene In Challenge to Oregon Gay Marriage Ban


Today the anti-gay National Organization for Marriage (NOM) reported that it will file a motion seeking to intervene in Oregon’s federal same-sex marriage case. The case seeks to overturn the 2004 voter-approved constitutional amendment defining marriage as only between a man and a woman.

OregonThe state’s attorney general hads refused to defend the law in court stating that it conflicts with the U.S. Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause. Her decision left no one with legal standing to defend the ban in court this week when it goes before a federal judge.

However NOM says that it wants to be granted legal standing to represent the law's supporters as well as those who would be “harmed” by its repeal. From NOM’s blog:

NOM's lead legal counsel — its chairman John Eastman — will tell the federal court in the filing today that NOM's members in Oregon include a county clerk who must perform marriages and certify them, professionals in the wedding industry, and voters who cannot defend their interests in upholding the law themselves due to legitimate fear of reprisal…

Eastman also said that news reports over the weekend that Judge Michael McShane is in a long-term relationship with another man and that the two are raising a child together raise serious ethical questions about whether the judge should continue to hear the case.

"These recent news reports suggest that Judge McShane is in the same position as the two gay men challenging the marriage amendment, raising troubling questions about his impartiality," Eastman said.

The oral arguments in this case are set to begin in a Eugene federal district court on this Wednesday, April 23.

Challenge to Oregon's Gay Marriage Ban Goes Before Judge This Week, Unopposed: VIDEO


A challenge to Oregon's gay marriage ban goes before a federal judge this week and there are no parties opposing the challenge, the AP reports:

OregonOregon's attorney general, Democrat Ellen Rosenblum, says the state's ban is legally indefensible. Her office filed a lengthy brief urging judge U.S. District Judge Michael McShane to throw it out. There have been no legal arguments submitted for upholding the ban.

...For Oregon's ban, oral arguments are scheduled for Wednesday at U.S. District Court in Eugene.

The court is deciding two cases that have been consolidated. Portland attorneys Lake Perriguey and Lea Ann Easton filed a lawsuit in October on behalf of two women in a relationship for more than 30 years. Two months later, the American Civil Liberties Union and lawyers from two firms went to court on behalf of a lesbian couple and a gay couple.

McShane also happens to be gay.

Watch Oregonian reporter Jeff Mapes talk about his profile of the judge in a recent issue, and where he thinks the case will go, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Challenge to Oregon's Gay Marriage Ban Goes Before Judge This Week, Unopposed: VIDEO" »

Oregon Mom Who Murdered Son She Thought Was Gay Gets 25 to Life In Prison: Video


A sentence was handed down yesterday in the case of Jessica Dutro, the Oregon mom convicted earlier this month in the murder of her 4-year-old son who she suspected was gay. Her boyfriend was also sentenced for his role in the heartbreaking crime.

Zachary-dutro-boggess-2d178f5176932452KOIN reports:

A local mother found guilty of beating her 4-year-old son to death because she thought he was gay was sentenced to prison Friday, as was her boyfriend who previously pleaded guilty.

The jury found Jessica Dutro guilty on all seven counts — one count of felony murder, five counts of murder by abuse and one count of second-degree assault.

Dutro’s daughter was 7 at the time of Zachary’s death. The girl testified she saw both Dutro and Canady commit the deadly beating.

Dutro was sentenced to life in prison with a minimum of 25 years in prison.

Dutro’s boyfriend, Brian Canady, received his sentence Friday as well. Canady pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the killing.

Canady was sentenced to 150 months (12.5 years) with credit for time served.

Prosecutors argued that Dutro's motive for the murder was a Facebook message she sent to Canady in which she said that her son Zachary "walks and talk" like he was gay and wanted her boyfriend to “work on” the young boy. Zachary was subjected to daily beatings and died in August of 2012.

Watch a KPTV news segment about the sentences, AFTER THE JUMP.

Continue reading "Oregon Mom Who Murdered Son She Thought Was Gay Gets 25 to Life In Prison: Video" »

4 Oregon Students Respond to Anti-Bullying Day at School with 'Gay is Not Ok' T-Shirts: VIDEO


Friday was the national student anti-bullying "Day of Silence" in which students took a vow of silence to raise awareness about bullying. Four students in Oregon City, Oregon decided to respond with their own protest:

They wore T-shirts to school that said, "Gay Is Not Ok" and "Gay Day Is Not OK," which is a reference to Day of Silence. They sought out a KATU reporter to be interviewed.

Said one student: I don't have a big problem with gay people. It's just when they start parading around the school about how 'we have a day of silence for gays, lesbians, transvestites'. It's like, we don't have a straight day."

Watch KATU's interview with the students, AFTER THE JUMP...


Continue reading "4 Oregon Students Respond to Anti-Bullying Day at School with 'Gay is Not Ok' T-Shirts: VIDEO" »

Jury Convicts Oregon Mother in Killing of 4-Year-Old Son She Thought Might Be Gay


Late last week we reported on the trial of Jessica Dutro, an Oregon mom charged with one count of murder, five counts of murder by abuse and one count of second-degree assault in the death of her 4-year-old son.

Dutro had instructed her boyfriend Brian Canady, who has already pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter and second-degree assault in the child's death, to "work on" her son, Zachary, sending him a Facebook message that she thought the 4-year-old was gay:  “He walks and talks like it. Ugh.”

A jury convicted yesterday on all seven counts after less than an hour of deliberation.

The Oregonian reports that it was likely the heartbreaking testimony of Dutro's daughter that helped convict her:

If jurors believed nothing else, prosecutors said Wednesday, they should believe the girl. She watched her mom and her mom's boyfriend fatally beat Zachary Dutro-Boggess Aug. 12, 2012, the day before his 4th birthday.

"They beat up my brother, then he died," the girl told her counselor. "I seen them."

To a Tigard detective, she said, "Jessica and Brian, they kept hitting him and punching him. He didn't listen to them so they kicked him and punched him and stuff and they kept doing it and doing it. ... They knew he were sick and stuff. And they didn't tell anybody."

Dutro reportedly showed no reaction to the conviction.


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