Oregon's gay marriage ban could be shot down Monday

Oregon's gay marriage ban could be shot down Monday

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by KGW and AP Staff

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kgw.com

Posted on May 18, 2014 at 2:25 PM

Updated Sunday, May 18 at 2:25 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- A federal judge will issue his ruling on overturning Oregon's same-sex marriage ban Monday. An attorney for the plaintiff in the same-sex marriage lawsuit confirmed with KGW reporter Reggie Aqui the timing of the ruling.

On Wednesday, the judge ruled that a national group would not be allowed to step in to defend Oregon's ban.

If the ban is overturned, Oregon officials said the state is "ready to go" on issuing new same-sex marriage licenses.

A crowd of advocates is planning to gather at the Oregon United for Marriage Headquarters at 727 NE 24th Ave. at 11:30 a.m. to hear the judge's decision, said Peter Zuckerman, spokesman for OUM.  

Others are preparing to marry or renew their vows, depending on the outcome of the ruling. 

U.S. District Judge Michael McShane denied the National Organization for Marriage's request to intervene in a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Oregon’s gay marriage ban after the state’s attorney general refused to defend the public in the case.

More: National group wants to defend Ore. gay marriage ban

The federal lawsuit playing itself out in Eugene challenges Oregon’s 2004 constitutional amendment, that defined marriage as a contract between a man and a woman, as a violation of a citizen’s right to equal protection. More than one million Oregon residents voted to pass the law.

In February, Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum said she would not defend the state against the federal suit, saying that the state’s ban was indefensible.

More: AG won't defend Ore. gay marriage ban

After a 2013 U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act, state bans on same-sex marriage have been toppled by federal judges in half a dozen states, though many are still mired in legal challenges.

On Tuesday, a judge in Idaho issued an injunction blocking the enforcement of that state’s ban on same-sex marriage.

The National Organization for Marriage said it may appeal Wednesday’s decision to the 9th Circuit Court and ask for a stay, which would stop the case before Judge McShane rules on gay marriage in Oregon.

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The Associated Press, Pat Dooris and Cornelius Swart contributed to this report

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