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US federal court hears challenge to Oregon's marriage ban

This past February, the Oregon attorney general announced she would not defend the state law
Wayne L. Morse United States Courthouse where Eugene's US District Court is located

Today, 23 April, a federal court judge heard arguments challenging Oregon's same-sex marriage ban.

The American Civil Liberties Union, and two law firms, brought the case on behalf of two same-sex couples and a local gay rights group called Basic Rights Oregon.

'We stand today with our friends and allies in Oregon in the fight for the freedom to marry,' Amanda Goad, staff attorney with the ACLU Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Project, said in a statement.

'We trust that the court will do the right thing and allow Oregon to join the ever-growing number of states across the country that grant the same protections and dignity to these families as anyone else,' Goad also listed as a plaintiff.

Jeana Frazzini, Basic Rights' executive director, agreed.

'Marriage is a fundamental freedom, and freedom means freedom for everyone,' the executive director said in a statement.

The plaintiffs charge the state's ban, called Measure 36, violates the Constitution.

This past February state Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum announced she would not defend the statute in court.

'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,' Rosenblum wrote in court papers.

The National Organization for Marriage, an anti-marriage equality organization, is the measure's legal advocate.

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