After a case where the defendants became plaintiffs and everybody kept telling NOM that they really weren’t interested in hearing what they had to say, Judge Michael McShane declared Oregon’s bans on same-sex marriage unconstitutional today. Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum declined to appeal the case, so Oregon is now the 18th state with marriage equality. Pastors were on hand at the courthouse so couples could get married as soon as the order was issued.
After telling NOM that you really do need an actual person from Oregon and not someone who was allegedly quivering in fear of the awesomeness that is Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum and her host of county clerks armed with ::screams:: forms for same-sex couples to get a marriage license, Judge Michael McShane has announced that he will issue his ruling on Monday, May 19 at noon.
Oh, Ellen Rosenblum, people can find some lawyers to be terrifying, and you are certainly no exception. You announced that you wouldn’t defend Oregon’s ban on marriage equality back in February, and that mere statement had members of NOM so terrified that they had to wait until 48 hours before an April hearing to file a motion to intervene in the case. Now that their big, exciting day of being able to stand in front of Judge Michael McShane has arrived, they can’t find anyone willing to testify that they have been or could be harmed by the repeal of Oregon’s anti-equality laws, citing “grave concerns about possible threats, harassment, and retaliation should they do so.” In their brief, NOM claims to be the only person or organization willing to stand up for Oregonians who feel their voting rights are being trampled on. They claim that the Attorney General’s refusal to defend the law in court has created a climate in Oregon that will result in any of these county clerks, voters, or local business owners being tarred and feathered if they stand up for the discriminatory laws or something.
The National Organization for Marriage found out that Oregon’s attorney general Ellen Rosenblum wouldn’t defend the state’s definition of marriage as one man and one woman in court back in January with the rest of us. They knew nobody had filed any friend of the court briefs supporting the state’s ban on marriage equality. They found out when oral arguments were scheduled to begin with the rest of us. So why couldn’t they file the motion to intervene more than 48 hours before oral arguments were scheduled to begin?
As an added attempt to endear himself and his organization to the judge, NOM chairman John Eastman sent out a press release where he questioned Judge Michael McShane’s impartiality due to the fact that he is an openly gay judge.
Judge McShane has decided to continue with oral arguments as scheduled. He will consider NOM’s motion and will hold oral arguments for that issue on May 14th.
Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum said last month that she wouldn’t appeal if the state’s ban on same-sex marriage is found unconstitutional. This month, she said that the state is ready to implement marriages between same sex couples if the ban is overturned.
On May 19, 2014 Judge Michael McShane found that Oregon’s Constitutional Amendment and state laws barring same-sex couples were unconstitutional, and marriages were able to begin immediately.
The Social Security Administration announced on Friday that it will begin offering partner benefits to same-sex couples, but BuzzFeed reports the benefits will not be applied as consistently as some other federal benefits available to same-sex couples since the Supreme Court overturned the Defense of Marriage Act. For now only married same-sex couples who live in a state that recognizes their marriages will be eligible to receive the Social Security spousal benefit.
In just the past year, six states legalized same-sex marriage though the political process. Legislatures are being pressed in three other states that are likely to follow suit: New Jersey, Hawaii and Illinois. In Oregon, an effort to reverse a state constitutional ban on same-sex marriage through a November 2014 ballot measure is under way. Challenges to similar bans in Nevada, Colorado and Ohio could be in store for November 2016.