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Marriage Equality

High Court Ends NOM's Efforts to Undo Oregon Marriage

High Court Ends NOM's Efforts to Undo Oregon Marriage


The antigay group has kept trying to intervene after Oregon's attorney general declined to defend the ban, but it's out of options now.

The U.S. Supreme Court has turned back one more attempt by the antigay National Organization for Marriage to stop same-sex marriages in Oregon.

The court Monday declined to hear NOM's appeal of a federal judge's ruling that it did not have the legal standing to argue in court for Oregon's marriage ban, which was struck down last May, The Oregonian reports. Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum had declined to defend the ban in court, so NOM sought to intervene but was turned away, with the judge noting that it is a national group with few members in Oregon.

The Supreme Court listed NOM's case, without comment, "on a long list of petitions that it refused to hear," the paper reports.

"It's a good day," Portland attorney Lake Perriguey, who handled one of the two lawsuits that led to Judge Michael McShane's ruling, told The Oregonian. "It's a distraction we don't have to worry about anymore."

Tom Johnson, who represented clients in the other suit, told the paper he didn't expect the high court to hear NOM's case, but until yesterday, there was "that tiny, little bit of uncertainty."

NOM is reluctant to give up, however. Although its legal options are exhausted right now, if the Supreme Court rules against marriage equality in the cases it will hear April 28, the group will try to find an Oregon plaintiff, such as a county clerk who issues marriage licenses, to challenge McShane's ruling, NOM chairman John Eastman told The Oregonian.

A negative ruling from the Supreme Court, which is hearing cases out of Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee, and Kentucky, would not mean the end of marriage equality in Oregon, but it would leave it open to challenge. Thankfully, NOM could not find anyone willing to attach their name to the Oregon case last year when it sought to intervene.

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