Judge Set to Hear About Gay Marriage Ban

Eugene_Federal_Courthouse_(Lane_County,_Oregon_scenic_images)_(lanDA0012)EUGENE, ore.– A federal judge is set to hear oral arguments over the constitutionality of a voter-approved ban of same-sex marriage, Wednesday.

Four same-sex couples filed a lawsuit claiming the ban discriminates against gays and lesbians and serves no legitimate government interest. No one will defend the ban before the judge, Wednesday, because Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum has refused to defend it.

Judge Michael McShane says he won’t rule on the constitutionality of the same-sex marriage ban until he decides on a request by the National Organization for Marriage to defend it. If he decides the group has legal standing, he says he’ll hold new oral arguments.

Several states have overturned the ban since the Supreme Court ruled last year, that parts of the Federal Defense of Marriage Act were unconstitutional. These include Utah, Oklahoma, Michigan, Texas and Virginia. In three other states – Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee – federal judges have ordered the recognition of same-sex marriages that occurred out-of-state.

Supporters of the ban argue marriage should be for families units that can procreate.