Two gay couples on Tuesday filed a
lawsuit in federal court challenging the constitutionality of
Oregon's gay marriage ban.
According to Portland alternative
Week, the suit was filed in U.S. District Court by two
attorneys representing a male gay couple and a lesbian couple. The
suit names Governor John Kitzhaber and Attorney General Ellen
Rosenblum as defendants.
Deanna Geiger and Janine Nelson, a
couple in their 50s together more than 31 years, are asking the court
to allow them to marry, while the other plaintiffs, Robert Deuhmig
and William Griesar, are asking the court to recognize their Canadian
Measure 36 was approved by voters in
2004 with 57 percent of the vote. It defines marriage as a union of
one man and one woman. In 2009, the Oregon Supreme Court denied an
appeal to a case which upheld the amendment.
“We would like a federal district
judge in Oregon to find that there is no rational, legitimate or
compelling governmental interest that would allow Oregon's anti-gay
constitutional amendment to stand,” attorney Lake Perriguey told
the paper. “It will not withstand constitutional scrutiny.”
Marriage equality supporters in the
state are campaigning to put the issue on next year's ballot.
Geiger said that she supported that
effort but that a lawsuit might resolve the issue sooner.
endorses Oregon bid to legalize gay marriage.)