SALEM, Ore., May 16 (UPI) -- A federal judge has ruled that the anti-gay National Organization for Marriage has no standing to defend Oregon's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage and that he will make a ruling on the ban's legality Monday.
District Court Judge Michael McShane promptly denied the lobbyists' oral arguments, ruling that a private organization should not assume the role of the executive branch. In February Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum said she would not defend the ban as it lacks "rational basis" and she can think of no arguments to support it. The National Organization for Marriage had sought to step in on her behalf.
"This is an Oregon case that impacts the lives of Oregon citizens," Judge McShane said.
Its timeliness and its posture are not going to be held in abeyance by the intervention of a political lobbying group. I know that many Oregonians are probably disappointed by the lack of adversarial debate in this case, but I am not prepared to substitute the Executive Branch with a third party. ... So it's an Oregon case. It will remain an Oregon case.
Four gay and lesbian couples are suing the state, saying its marriage laws are unconstitutional and discriminatory.