Thursday, August 28, 2014

9th Circuit Rejects NOM's Attempt to Stay Oregon Marriages

NOM's hate merchant in chief, Brian Brown
Having seen opponents of gay marriage lose every court case except a lowly state court case, the National Organization for Marriage ("NOM") is desperate to stay relevant - and most importantly, keep the money flowing in so that Brian Brown, et al, can live well.  One such attempt to stay in the news and keep the ignorant and bigoted sending in checks - most of NOM's financial support comes from a handful of secret donors - and give the false appearance that NOM has broad support was NOM's effort to convince the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to stay the District Court ruling that struck down Oregon's bans on same sex marriage.  Yesterday, that effort went down in flames (the Court's opinion is here).  Here are highlights from the Oregonian:

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has denied a request by a group opposing same-sex marriage in Oregon to intervene in the case.

The decision, handed down Wednesday afternoon, means the National Organization for Marriage has no route left short of appealing the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Unless NOM does appeal, any threat it posed to gay marriage in Oregon is over.   The action comes in the wake of the May 19 decision by U.S. District Court Judge Michael McShane in Eugene to strike down Oregon's ban on same-sex marriage.

Supporters of same-sex marriage applauded Wednesday's decision.  "We're thrilled by the news but not surprised at all," said Jeana Frazzini, executive director of Basic Rights Oregon. "There was never any merit to their proposal and they've been denied now at every turn."

Frazzini read the court's decision and called it "decisive."  "From their own filings, the National Organization for Marriage has about 100 members in Oregon," she said. "If anything, I'd characterize this entire episode as a nuisance effort on their part."

NOM, based in Washington D.C., had claimed in court filings that it deserved intervenor status on behalf of "several of its members, identified as Oregon members who provide weddings services, Oregon members who voted for Measure 36, and at least one member who is an elected Oregon county clerk," according to the five-page decision.

"We find that NOM's Oregon wedding service providers members' objections to facilitating same-gender marriage ceremonies is not sufficient" to achieve that standing, the court said.

"They could ask either that the full 9th Circuit review this or appeal it to the U.S. Supreme Court," he said. "But I don't think NOM ever presented a threat. Their appeals, after all, weren't based on the substantive merits of the case. It was merely a question of whether an out-of-state lobbying organization was improperly left out of the party."

The decision leaves Oregon as one of 19 states and the District of Columbia where same-gender couples can legally marry in the U.S.

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