Judge: NOM Can't Defend Oregon Marriage Ban

A federal judge says the National Organization for Marriage does not have the standing to defend Oregon's marriage ban in court.

BY Michelle Garcia

May 14 2014 2:01 PM ET

Judge McShane (left); NOM chairman Eastman

The National Organization for Marriage does not have standing to defend Oregon's constitutional amendment barring same-sex couples from marrying, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.

NOM wanted to step in to defend the law since Oregon's attorney general has refused to do so, but Judge Michael McShane ruled that NOM does not have standing to do so because it is a national organization with only about 100 members in Oregon.

"This is an Oregon case. It will remain an Oregon case," McShane said Wednesday regarding the D.C.-based organization, reports Portland TV station KOIN.

Oregon attorney general Ellen Rosenblum had refused to defend the ban on behalf of the state, saying at a hearing in March that it "serves no rational purpose." NOM chairman John Eastman said the group's Oregon members — including a county clerk and wedding services providers — voted for the ban in 2004, which compelled it to defend the law.

According to Oregon United for Marriage, the organization working to bring legal marriage equality to Oregon, the next step will be McShane's ruling on the ban itself.

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