A federal judge this week will hear
only arguments in favor of striking down Oregon's ban on gay
U.S. District Judge Michael McShane on
Wednesday will hear arguments in a case challenging Oregon's 2004
voter-approved constitutional amendment limiting marriage to
Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum has
not only called the ban legally indefensible, she has encouraged
McShane to throw it out, saying that the state is prepared to begin
issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples.
“If this Court determines that
Oregon's prohibition on same-sex marriage violates plaintiffs' rights
under the federal constitutional, the state is prepared to implement
that ruling,” Rosenblum
wrote in a 35-page filing.
Not legal argument for upholding the
ban has been submitted.
The case is also unique in that
McShane, the state's most recently appointed federal judge, is one of
just nine openly gay members of the federal judiciary, a wrinkle
which has riled opponents of marriage equality.
“The question is not his sexual
John Eastman, chairman of the National Organization for Marriage
(NOM), the nation's most vociferous opponent of marriage equality,
“but whether he is situated identically to the plaintiffs and will
benefit from the exact relief he provides to them.”
Since December, federal judges have
struck down all or part of similar bans in Utah, Oklahoma, Michigan,
Texas, Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee.
Last week, challenges from Utah and
Oklahoma became the first to reach an appeals court.
court reviews challenge to Oklahoma's gay marriage ban.)