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Judge Denies Motion To Delay Same-Sex Marriage Hearing

Karen Richards

Wednesday's federal hearing on Oregon's same-sex marriage ban will go ahead as scheduled, after a Eugene judge today denied a motion to postpone by opponents.  

The Oregon Attorney General announced back in February that the state would not defend the voter-approved Constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.  The state said the ban would not stand up to a federal equal rights challenge. 

On Monday, the National Organization for Marriage filed a last minute motion, hoping to be allowed to defend the law instead.  They also requested a delay in tomorrow's scheduled oral arguments.

On Tuesday, Judge Michael McShane denied the motion to delay.  But the judge said he would consider the request by the National organization for marriage to defend the law.  Judge McShane will consider the motion to intervene on on May 14th.

But oral arguments in the case will begin tomorrow as scheduled at 1:30pm at the Federal Courthouse in Eugene.  Peter Zuckerman is spokesman for the gay-rights group Oregon United for Marriage.

Zuckerman:  "We are really excited to have our day in court.  Eleven out of 11 judges who have looked at federal cases involving marriage equality in the last year and a half have all ruled in favor of the freedom to marry.  And we feel like we have a very strong case."  

Zuckerman's group has organized vigils this evening in seven Oregon cities, including Newport, Bend and Eugene.  

Except where noted, the vigils will be held from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at these locations:

    Portland: Terry Schrunk Plaza, SW 3rd Avenue and Madison Street

    Eugene: Wayne Morse Federal Courthouse, 405 E. Eighth Ave.

    Bend: Peace Corner, 1033 NW Wall St. (gather at 4:30 p.m.)

    Medford: Jackson County Courthouse, 10 S. Oakdale Ave.

    Pendleton: Roy Raley Park, 1205 SW Court Ave.

    Hood River: Overlook Memorial Park, 2nd Street and State Street

    Newport: Nana’s Irish Pub, 613 NW Third Ave. (gather at 6:30 p.m.)