U.S. Supreme Court refuses to issue stay of ruling overturning Oregon marriage amendment

The National Organization for Marriage has sought an emergency stay after a U.S. District Court judge overturned the amendment last month.
By Dustin Siggins

By Dustin Siggins

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 5, 2014 ( -- On Wednesday, the Supreme Court said it will not stop a judge's ruling overturning Oregon's marriage amendment from taking effect.

In response to a brief filed with the Court by the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), Justice Anthony Kennedy -- who handles emergency requests in Western states -- referred NOM's request for a stay to the entire Court. The notice from the full Court states that "the application for stay presented to Justice Kennedy and by him referred to the Court is denied."

NOM sought a stay because Oregon Democratic Attorney General Ellen Rosenbaum has refused to defend the state's marriage amendment. The amendment became law 10 years ago, with 54 percent of voters approving it.

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On Monday, Rosenbaum filed a brief stating that NOM lacked standing to request a stay, according to Washington Times. However, NOM chair and counsel John Eastman noted that a similar stay was granted in Utah after a judge ruled that state's amendment was unconstitutional.

NOM's request for a stay in Oregon has now been turned down by multiple courts. The original ruling overturning the state amendment was made U.S. District Judge Michael McShane, an Obama-appointee who is openly homosexual.

In a statement expressing "disappointment" in the Supreme Court's decision, Eastman said, "The people ... lost their common-sense law which defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman." He blamed "the state Attorney General," whom he said "has worked in concert with the plaintiffs to deny the people of Oregon a defense of their state marriage amendment."

Eastman said he expected NOM's appeal of the original decision to be heard later this year, "with briefs due in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal in August and September, and oral argument sometime afterwards."

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