Oregon Won’t Defend State’s Ban On Gay Marriage

February 20, 2014

Saying the state’s ban on gay marriage could not withstand a federal constitutional challenge, Oregon’s attorney general said they will no longer defend the ban in court.

The Oregonian reports Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum made the announcement in a brief filed in U.S. District Court in Eugene, where the voter-approved 2004 amendment is being challenged.

“State Defendants will not defend the Oregon ban on same-sex marriage in this litigation,” Rosenblum wrote. “Rather, they will take the position in their summary judgment briefing that the ban cannot withstand a federal constitutional challenge under any standard of review. In the meantime, as the State Defendants are legally obligated to enforce the Oregon Constitution’s ban on same-sex marriage, they will continue to do so unless and until this Court grants the relief sought by the plaintiffs.”

This decision is very similar to the one taken last month by the Virginia attorney general. Mark Herring said that state’s law violates Virginians’ rights.

As we reported, the Virginia case, along with one from Utah and Oklahoma are making their way through the court system. The expectation is that the Supreme Court will at some point pick one or a few of them to make a broad decision on the constitutionality of state bans on gay marriage.

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