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Breaking: NOM Questions Gay Judge’s Ethics, Now Claims Standing In Oregon Marriage Case

by David Badash on April 21, 2014

in Marriage,News

Post image for Breaking: NOM Questions Gay Judge’s Ethics, Now Claims Standing In Oregon Marriage Case

Less than 48 hours before a federal judge is scheduled to hear two cases attempting to overturn Oregons ban on same-sex marriage, NOM, the National Organization For Marriage has said it will file a motion claiming standing. Currently, the attorney general and governor of Oregon are not defending the law in court, believing as many do, that it is unconstitutional. No other entity has come forward to defend the ban.

“As a membership organization, we speak on behalf of our members, including a County Clerk in the state, several professionals in the wedding industry, and voters, Brian Brown, NOM’s president said in a statement just now. “All of these individuals have a particularized interest in the outcome of the litigation, yet their interests are not being represented. We are working to protect the interests of our members who support true marriage against a collusive lawsuit that has the state joining with the plaintiffs against the interests of our members, and the state’s voters.”

John Eastman (image), NOM’s Chairman, would defend the anti-gay marriage law in court if the judge agrees.

The judge happens to be U.S. District Judge Michael McShane, “one of just nine openly gay members of the federal judiciary,” OregonLive, quoting HRC, reports.

Of course, Eastman had to take a swipe at McShane.

“Eastman … said that news reports over the weekend that Judge Michael McShane is in a long-term relationship with another man and that the two are raising a child together raise serious ethical questions about whether the judge should continue to hear the case,” NOM’s blog states.

Of course, as Eastman knows, after the Prop 8 trial, the group NOM funded, Protect Marriage, sued to have the decision of Judge Vaughn Walker overturned because Walker is gay and in a long-term relationship. A federal judge tossed that argument out rather pointedly, stating it had no merit and was “unreasonable.”

(Read some excellent excerpts from Judge Ware’s decision supporting Judge Walker.)

But Eastman seems unfazed by that decision.

“These recent news reports suggest that Judge McShane is in the same position as the two gay men challenging the marriage amendment, raising troubling questions about his impartiality,” Eastman said. “But regardless of what judge eventually hears this matter, it is wrong that a challenge to Oregon’s marriage law would proceed in federal court with no meaningful defense of the constitutional amendment adopted overwhelmingly by voters. Their interests, and the particular interests of those involved in performing or celebrating wedding ceremonies deserve a defense. If our motion to intervene is granted, we intend to fully and aggressively defend the state constitutional amendment.”

Would Eastman argue that a heterosexual judge shouldn’t rule in a heterosexual divorce case?

 

Image of John Eastman via YouTube

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{ 8 comments }

MiddleGrounds April 21, 2014 at 5:55 pm

– “As a membership organization, we speak on behalf of our members, including a County Clerk in the state, several professionals in the wedding industry, and voters, Brian Brown, NOM’s president said in a statement just now. “All of these individuals have a particularized interest in the outcome of the litigation, yet their interests are not being represented. —

As a gay man living close enough to Oregon, I feel that by keeping the ban on same-sex marriage is not representing MY interest. I'm also pretty damned sure that I'd have much more of a backing than just a small little cluster-*bleep* that what they could pull off!

D.Henderson-Rinehart April 21, 2014 at 6:21 pm

There's an appropriate time to intervene, and that's not two days before the case is set to be heard. They've known since at least February that the state would not defend the law, and had they attempted to intervene back then, there's a good chance the judge would have allowed it.

According to FRCP 24(b), "On timely motion, the court may permit anyone to intervene who [meets certain criteria]", but "In exercising its discretion, the court must consider whether the intervention will unduly delay or prejudice the adjudication of the original parties’ rights." A motion filed two days before the hearing is not timely, and granting intervention at this point would likely unduly delay the adjudication of the original parties' rights.

Zack12 April 21, 2014 at 6:50 pm

This is a stalling tactic and nothing more. More to the point, as shown by Prop 8, NOM will have no leg to stand on.
Stating that you won't be allowed to enforce your beliefs that gays and lesbians are icky on everyone else is NOT harm, unlike the gay and lesbian couples whom are being denied full equality every day this ban is in place.

Str8Grandmother April 21, 2014 at 7:28 pm

And notice not one of their members are prepared to individually intervene, to put their name on the line.
NOM is trying to intervene on a generalized basis. This Baker and this Florist are members of NOM, (they are following us on Twitter I guess counts as being a "Member of NOM") but they don't want their name on anything.

MadCityRez April 21, 2014 at 8:39 pm

Since NOM claims that same-sex marriage puts different-sex marriage in terrible danger wouldn't that mean a married heterosexual judge would have to much at stake to rule on this case as well?

SeanLiberty13 April 21, 2014 at 9:35 pm

Ignorant Eastman's irrational and nugatory argument was already covered with the Prop 8 trial and Judge Walker and was rightfully thrown in the trash where it belongs.

The clerks are the employees of all citizens of Oregon including LGBT's. They have no interests other than to do the job their bosses require of them. Their interest is in serving all citizens including LGBT's Their paychecks come from the pockets of LGBT citizens of Oregon who have actual jobs that requires actual work. So the ingrates will STFU and be thankful for the tax payer funded paycheck, health insurance and stop disrespecting their superiors or the ingrates can get another job.

As for what is considered "true" marriage. The blood thirsty Nazi barbarian Brian Brown has NO legal right (nor does his church or his anti-American, anti-freedom hate group) to decide what is true for the millions of LGBT citizens and the millions of straight allies including religious leaders and civil right leaders of this country. He has NO say in our lives. NONE. He would do himself a world of good to get that fact of life and American law through his illiterate mentally diseased head.

Zack12 April 21, 2014 at 9:40 pm

When the 4,000 marriage licenses issued in Oregon back in 04 were nullified in the Li and Kennedy v. State of Oregon case, it was made clear clerks have no standing in the state of Oregon to defend laws.
So whomever NOM's mystery clerk is, she or he has no standing, period.

Bose_in_SP_MN April 22, 2014 at 1:41 pm

Oxymoron of the day: collusive lawsuit.

The only way this case has been a secret is to NOM, but that's not secrecy, it's ignorance.

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