Federal Judge Turns Down Attempt To Intervene In Gay Marriage Case

By Chris Lehman

A federal judge in Eugene has denied a national group's attempt to defend Oregon's ban on same-sex marriage. U.S. District Judge Michael McShane ruled Wednesday that the National Organization For Marriage failed to prove why it should be allowed to intervene in the case.

Supporters of same-sex marriage gathered outside the federal courthouse in Eugene. Photo by Chris Lehman.The judge said the attempt to defend the voter-approved ballot measure came too late. He also said the National Organization For Marriage didn't show that the unnamed Oregonians it represents would experience any harm if the same-sex marriage ban was overturned. The decision left gay rights advocates hopeful for a quick ruling on whether the ban on gay marriage is constitutional. Jeana Frazzini is the director of Basic Rights Oregon.

Jeana Frazzini: "We feel very confident that this is headed in the right direction and that we will end up very soon in the place that so many states have landed in these last few months."

But the National Organization For Marriage isn't giving up yet. Its attorney, John Eastman, says the group will appeal the judge's ruling.

Photo: Supporters of same-sex marriage gathered outside the federal courthouse in Eugene. Photo by Chris Lehman.

John Eastman: "These things never end at the trial court. We're looking forward to the argument in the Court of Appeals."

If that court denies their appeal, the group would have no standing to challenge a ruling on the overall merits of the case.

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