US: Decision expected in case challenging Oregon’s same-sex marriage ban

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A federal judge is expected on Monday to rule in a case challenging the US state of Oregon’s undefended same-sex marriage ban.

The anti-gay group National Organisation for Marriage filed a last-ditch effort to defend the state’s marriage ban last month, after Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum declined to do so, leaving the ban undefended in court.

US District Judge Michael McShane has not given any indication on how he may rule, but both sides in the lawsuit have asked for the ban to be deemed unconstitutional.

The judge did, however, decline to allow NOM to put forward a defence for the ban, despite that it found no attorney to defend it.

A 2004 constitutional amendment approved by 57% of voters to 43%, defined marriage as exclusively between one man and one woman.

Same-sex marriage advocates also say they have collected enough signatures to force a ballot measure on the issue, but that they will discard it if a judge strikes down the ban before the 23 May due date to hand over the petition.