Oregon attorney general will not defend state’s gay marriage ban in court

Ellen Rosenblum does not believe the law can withstand federal constitutional challenge in lawsuit brought by four same-sex couples

Oregon attorney general will not defend state’s gay marriage ban in court
21 February 2014

Oregon’s attorney general said in legal papers filed Thursday (20 February) that she does not believe the state’s ban on gay marriage can withstand a federal constitutional challenge.

This means Ellen Rosenblum joins attorneys general in at least five other US states – all Democrats – who are refusing to defend state gay marriage bans in court.

The state is facing two lawsuits involving three same-sex couples who are seeking to have the ban overturned on the basis that it is unconstitutional.

‘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.’

But in the meantime, she points out that the state is ‘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,’ she wrote.

As the legal case works its way through the courts, efforts continue to gather enough signatures for a measure to qualify for the November ballot asking voters to make gay marriage legal in the state.

The state already announced last fall that it will recognize same-sex marriages that were performed in any of the US states where they are legal.

Couples will not suffer a change in marital status and benefits should they move to the state of Oregon.

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

No thumbnail available

2014: The year homophobes kept talking and saying little

One of our 'honorees,' the Rev. James David Manning, explains why he's certain Starbucks puts male semen in its drinks
No thumbnail available

LGBTI groups alarmed by US Supreme Court ruling in Hobby Lobby case

They wonder if ruling could open the way for companies to also claim religious exemption on non-discrimination policies
No thumbnail available

Argentina one step closer to allowing gay blood donors

Congress has passed a bill that could ban clinics from asking blood donors their sexual orientation
No thumbnail available

Kylie releases her gay scene video today

The pop princess is back in hotpants for her new single, Timebomb, and dancing in the streets of London's Soho
No thumbnail available

Eleven trans arrested in Kuwait

With six transgender women arrested only in the last two weeks and five still in prison awaiting trial, Kuwait continues with 'morality' campaigns that also target LGBT people
No thumbnail available

Gay ally Vanessa Hudgens says it's 'not right' for people to be closed minded

'I think it's important for us to stand up for people and to have each other's back'
No thumbnail available

Hall of Famer Joe Namath says it's time to 'get over' hang-ups with gays

Football legend Joe Namath has some easy advice for anti-gay bigots: 'Get over it'
No thumbnail available

Gay couples celebrate civil unions in Colorado

Civil unions between same-sex couples became legal in the American state of Colorado today
No thumbnail available

Ellen DeGeneres chosen to host the 2014 Academy Awards

Lesbian talk show host returns for first time since 2007
No thumbnail available

Sean Penn warns that anti-gay parents will leave a terrible legacy for generations

'Children in this generation are going to have children and they're going to look back at them and say, "My parents are responsible for the suicides of 13 and 14 year old boys and girls"'