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National Group Attempts 11th-Hour Intervention In Oregon Gay Marriage Case

Chantal Andrea

A national group that opposes same-sex marriage is trying to intervene in a case scheduled to go before a federal judge in Oregon this week.

Oregon voters approved a ban on same-sex marriage a decade ago and on Wednesday in Eugene, U.S. District Judge Michael McShane is set to hear oral arguments to overturn the law.

The Oregon Department of Justice isn't planning to defend the measure. Now, the National Organization for Marriage says it will instead.

Gwynne Skinner, associate professor of law at Willamette University in Salem, says the Judge has a number of options to deal with the last-minute request.

"He could file a decision very quickly permitting it or not permitting it," she explains. "Or he could on the bench at 1:30 on Wednesday say he's going to allow them to intervene and delay the arguments. I think that's highly unlikely to happen."

The Oregon ACLU represents some of the plaintiffs in the case. Its executive director, David Fidanque, called the National Organization of Marriage's attempt a "desperation move."

Four couples filed suit to overturn Oregon's same-sex marriage ban.

Copyright 2014 Northwest News Network

Chris Lehman
Chris Lehman graduated from Temple University with a journalism degree in 1997. He landed his first job less than a month later, producing arts stories for Red River Public Radio in Shreveport, Louisiana. Three years later he headed north to DeKalb, Illinois, where he worked as a reporter and announcer for NPR–affiliate WNIJ–FM. In 2006 he headed west to become the Salem Correspondent for the Northwest News Network.