Oregon Is The Latest State To Turn Against Its Own Marriage Ban

oregon_trailSo this is probably how it’s going to be from now on: a new marriage lawsuit somewhere in the country every couple of days.

This week it’s Colorado and Ohio with new litigation. Ohio already had some lawsuits in the works, but the Colorado case is the first of its kind in that state. Civil unions only just passed the legislature a few years ago, so equality advocates really aren’t wasting any time.

And there’s another emerging trend in the first for equality. Multiple attorneys general have been declaring their state marriage bans unconstitutional, and refusing to defend them from lawsuits. This week it was Oregon that basically said, “you know what? Go ahead and sue us. Please. We’re not going to defend this ban, because we hate it as much as you do.”

Now this is both a good thing and a bad thing. On one hand: yay, thanks, supportive government officials! You are rad. On the other hand: if there’s no one to defend the law, and it’s overturned by a federal district court, then that means that there will be no one to appeal the ruling up to the US Supreme Court. So the furthest that litigation could go is the state level. That’s certainly better than nothing — just a year or two ago, it was was a huge unknown whether any court would overturn a marriage ban. But as far as a permanent whole-country solution goes, it’s obviously not far enough.

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  • hyhybt

    Oh, but it is enough; it just means 30 short lawsuits instead of one long one. It’s faster that way, since they’re now running concurrently in multiple states. Besides, there remain some states that *will* defend, and the more that have flipped by the time one of those gets to the Supreme Court, the better.

  • Joetx

    NOM or another organization of their ilk will defend the anti-gay laws if state officials do not.

    An added benefit: NOM & Co. will bleed money defending these discriminatory laws.

  • hyhybt

    @Joetx: They may not be allowed to defend in some cases; they need a state official of some sort defending that they can tack on to, because they don’t themselves have standing. While a lower court might let them go ahead on their own, we know full well the Supreme Court won’t.

  • tdx3fan

    It is so incredibly nice to start to anticipate Marriage News Watch every week. In this lifetime, I have gone from never believing I would see gay marriage in my state in my lifetime to wondering how quickly it will come.

  • tdx3fan

    @hyhybt: The only thing we know “full well” about SCOTUS is that SCOTUS is that we know nothing about them “full well.” Do not assume that just because they ruled one way in one case they will automatically go the same way. Sure, they most likely will, but there have been periods in history when they have offered up almost contradictory rulings. However, I do not think this will be one of those times.

  • Harley

    @tdx3fan: All the more reason to vote for a democrat for president because if Ted Cruz (pardon me while I go vomit) gets elected he will appoint Anthony Scalia clones to the bench and this nation will turn into tyrannical oligarchy.

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