Oregon AG to Implement Gay Marriage if Ban Falls
Oregon’s attorney general told a federal court Tuesday why she believes the state’s voter-approved ban on same-sex marriages violates the federal constitutional rights of homosexual couples. Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum added that Oregon is prepared to implement gay marriages if a federal judge strikes down the ban.
Rosenblum announced last month that she would not defend the state’s same-sex marriage ban in court.
Two lawsuits alleging that Oregon’s 2004 ban violates the U.S. Constitution have been consolidated. U.S. District Judge Michael McShane has scheduled April 23 oral arguments.
In a 35-page brief filed Tuesday, Rosenblum said there is no rational justification for maintaining the gay marriage ban, The Oregonian reported (http://is.gd/xRi4mA ). She also said that federal constitutional protections for same-sex couples have become clear since Oregon voters approved the ban.
Allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry is not a redefinition of marriage, the attorney general wrote. Instead, she said the plaintiffs in this case "seek the same right to marry that the state offers opposite-sex couples and not a right to any newly invented form of marriage."
Court rulings that have affected the national debate include the U.S. Supreme Court’s June decision to strike down part of the federal law that prevented the government from recognizing same-sex marriages.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals also recently found that gays and lesbians cannot be precluded from jury duty because of their sexual orientation. That ruling extended civil rights protections to gays that the U.S. Supreme Court previously promised only to women and racial minorities.