Thursday, June 5, 2014

Supreme Court refuses to halt same-sex marriages in Oregon

Supreme Court refuses to halt same-sex marriages in Oregon | June 4, 2014

The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to halt same-sex marriages in Oregon pending appeal of a federal judge’s ruling that threw out the state’s ban on gay marriage.

Unlike rulings in other states, Oregon officials urged the high court not to block the ruling by U.S. District Judge Michael McShane from going into effect. The motion for a stay came from the National Organization for Marriage, a group that has opposed same-sex marriage and civil unions.

The conservative governors of such states as Utah and Idaho have successfully petitioned for a stay while the states appeal federal judges’ rulings that have thrown out laws and state constitutional amendments barring marriage by same-sex couples.

“Here, in contrast, no party with standing to do so has appealed the ruling, so no stay serving to interrupt implementation of the ruling during the resolution of appellate proceedings was or is warranted,” said a brief signed by Oregon ACLU legal director Steve Shapiro.

Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum announced last winter that she would not defend the state’s ban on same-sex marriage. She cited a U.S. Supreme Court ruling last year, which found discriminatory a key provision of the federal Defense of Marriage Act. Rosenblum said the state’s ban would likely lose in court.

Rosenblum this week urged U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, who has jurisdiction over emergency appeals in the West, not to intervene.

With Judge McShane’s ruling, same-sex marriage is now legal in the West Coast states of Washington, Oregon and California, as well as in Hawaii.