Federal judge to hear Oregon gay marriage case


SALEM, Ore. (AP) — A federal judge in Oregon is ready to hear arguments about the state's voter-approved prohibition of same-sex marriage, but no one will be in court to support it.

Four gay and lesbian couples have filed suit arguing the ban is unconstitutional because it serves no legitimate government interest. But Democratic Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum is refusing to defend the ban. That means nobody will be defending it before the judge Wednesday.

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.

In other states, defenders of gay marriage bans have argued that marriage is intended to create a stable family unit from relationships that can result in procreation.

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