Oregon attorney general will not defend state’s marriage amendment
SALEM, OR, February 21, 2014 (LifeSiteNews) – Following a recent trend of officials refusing to uphold their state’s marriage amendments, Oregon’s attorney general has stated she will not defend her state’s ban on same-sex “marriages.”
In a brief filed at the U.S. District Court in Eugene on Thursday, Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum, a Democrat, declared that she would not defend the ban should it be challenged in court, arguing that it “cannot withstand a federal constitutional challenge under any standard of review.”
“In the meantime,” Rosenblum continues, “as the State Defendants are legally obligated to enforce the Oregon Constitution's ban on same-sex marriage, they will continue to do so unless and until this Court grants the relief sought by the plaintiffs.”
This announcement comes as the latest in a string of declarations by various attorneys general in opposition to the marriage amendments of their states, as voted on by their people. To date, the chief litigators of Virginia, California, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Nevada have refused to uphold the same-sex “marriage” bans in their respective states.
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Since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down parts of the Defense of Marriage Act last June, Democratic officials have not been shy about pressuring states to accept and acknowledge same-sex “marriages” regardless of their laws. Currently, 17 states including the District of Columbia allow same-sex “marriage,” while 33 states ban such unions.
However, the right of each state to define marriage as its people dictates is under heavy siege. With opposition from both state litigators and the federal government, supporters of traditional marriage continue to fight a long uphill battle.
Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage, issued a statement today lamenting Rosenblum’s announcement. "Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum,” he says, “is shamefully abandoning her constitutional duty to defend the marriage amendment overwhelmingly enacted by the people of Oregon. She swore an oath of office that she would enforce all the laws, not just those she personally agrees with.”
Brown goes on to say that Rosenblum “is dead-wrong in her conclusion that the amendment cannot be supported by rational legal arguments.” Brown cites both the Supreme Court’s DOMA decision last June, which maintained the rights of states’ to define marriage as voted on by their people, and their stay against the attack on Utah’s marriage amendment in January as reasons to believe that Ms. Rosenblum’s calculation will not hold up in the highest court.
“The people are entitled to a vigorous defense of the laws they enact,” Brown states, “and the marriage amendment is no exception to that solemn obligation.”