US: Same-sex marriage advocates will drop campaign if judge overturns ban

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Same-sex marriage advocates in the US state of Oregon have said they will drop a campaign to put a question on a ballot, if a judge overturns the state’s ban on same-sex marriage.

Those in support of a ballot initiative for November from Oregon United for Marriage, have said they would prefer that a judge overturned Oregon’s same-sex marriage ban, than having to wait until the winter for a potentially expensive campaign.

Mike Marshall, campaign manager at the organisation, said in a statement: “Oregon is closer than ever to winning marriage for all loving, committed couples in our state,”

“We would prefer a quick resolution of the court cases, and, if possible, to avoid an expensive marriage campaign.”

An amicus brief filed on Tuesday with the US District Court Judge Michael McShane, argues that a campaign for same-sex marriage would be expensive for the state.

Two federal lawsuits against the state for the ban are currently pending, filed by four couples.

Oregon United for Marriage will on 23 May hand over over 120,000 signatures forcing a ballot on the issue for November, and said that once they are submitted, even if a judge struck down the state’s same-sex marriage ban, it would be too late to withdraw the ballot measure.

“Once qualification signatures are submitted, the Initiative cannot be withdrawn, even if the Court subsequently determines that Oregon’s same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional,” states the brief.

Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum in February made the announcement that she would not defend the same-sex marriage ban, as she argued that it would not stand up against a federal constitutional challenge.

In a move which could potentially open the door to more quickly removing a ban on same-sex marriage, a federal judge in January consolidated two lawsuits seeking just that.