The National Organization for Marriage
(NOM) said it would file a motion in federal court on Monday seeking
to intervene in a lawsuit challenging Oregon's ban on gay marriage.
Arguments in the case are set for
Wednesday with U.S. District Judge Michael McShane presiding.
Oregon voters in 2004 approved Measure
36, a constitutional amendment which limits marriage to heterosexual
As of Sunday, no legal argument for
upholding the ban had been submitted. And Attorney General Ellen
Rosenblum not only called the ban legally indefensible, she
encouraged McShane to throw it out, saying that the state is prepared
to begin issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples.
NOM President Brian Brown accused
Rosenblum of “abandoning her duty” and having “switched sides.”
“As a membership organization, we
speak on behalf of our members, including a County Clerk in the
state, several professionals in the wedding industry, and voters,”
Brown said in
a blog post. “All of these individuals have a particularized
interest in the outcome of the litigation, yet their interests are
not being represented. We are working to protect the interests of
our members who support true marriage against a collusive lawsuit
that has the state joining with the plaintiffs against the interests
of our members, and the state's voters.”
NOM Chairman John Eastman added that
McShane's sexual orientation – he's gay – raises “troubling
questions about his impartiality.”
“If our motion to intervene is
granted, we intend to fully and aggressively defend the state
constitutional amendment,” Eastman said.