EUGENE, Ore. -- A national group that opposes gay marriage has stepped forward to defend a federal challenge to Oregon's constitutional ban on gay marriage.
The National Organization for Marriage filed a motion Monday seeking to get involved in a federal case that could overturn the state's same-sex marriage restrictions.
The civil case involves two same sex couples who claim that Oregon's definition of marriage as a union between one man and one woman violates their civil rights to equal protection.
In February, Oregon's Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum stated that she would not represent the state in the defense of the case. Rosenblum stated that she believed that ban violates the U.S. Constitution and said the ban cannot withstand a federal constitutional challenge under any standard of review.
Marriage in Oregon is worthy of defense, yet the Attorney General has abandoned her duty to defend the marriage state constitutional amendment enacted overwhelmingly in 2004 and in effect has switched sides, said NOMpresident Brian Brown in a press statement.
David Fidanque of the American Civil Liberties Union, the group representing the same-sex couples, opposes NOM's intervention, according to a report Monday by The Oregonian.
The case is due to be heard Wednesday.
In June of 2013, the U.S. Supreme court struck down the controversial Defense of Marriage Act but left in tact state bans on same-sex marriages. However, some have speculated that the wording of the Supreme Court decisions paved the way for federal courts to overturn state marriage bans.
Since December, bans on gay marriage have been overturned in Michigan,Texas, Utah, Oklahoma and Virginia, but appeals have put those cases on hold.