Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum
said in a federal court filing Tuesday that the state's ban on gay
marriage “serves no rational purpose.”
Rosenblum said that the state was
prepared to begin issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian
couples if District Judge Michael McShane were to strike down the
state's 2004 voter-approved constitutional amendment limiting
marriage to heterosexual couples.
“The state defendants in this case
recognize that the ban on same-sex marriage serves no rational
purpose and harms Oregon citizens,” Rosenblum
wrote in her 35-page filing. “This case presents that rare
case in which there simply is no legal argument to be made in support
of a state law.”
“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,” the brief concludes.
Mike Marshall, campaign manager for
Oregon United for Marriage, the coalition working to legalize
marriage for gay couples, applauded the move.
“We are literally counting down the
days until all loving and committed couples in Oregon have the
freedom to marry, and we are thrilled that the attorney general is on
the right side of history,” Marshall said in an emailed statement.