A federal judge in Eugene will hear arguments Wednesday to uphold Oregon’s same-sex marriage ban. Washington D.C.-based National Organization for Marriage is the only group defending the state’s constitutional ban.
Last month, NOM filed a request to delay arguments against the ban. U.S. District Judge Michael McShane denied the request, but he’s allowing the group’s lawyers to address the court to determine if NOM has a standing in the case.
Judge McShane likely won’t make a ruling on the legality of the ban tomorrow, but the possibility has people talking. OPB’s Public Insight Network journalist Amanda Peacher reached out to our listeners to see what they thought. We received a few dozen responses; all but one of them was against the ban.
Here is a sampling of the answers that OPB received from the query:
“If the ban is struck down and same-sex marriage comes to Oregon, I’d hope to see not only new clients coming to me for design, but on a bigger picture, and enriched visual culture surrounding wedding practices, and a more informed dialogue about the breadth of what marriage has meant in the past.”
“Our children, aged 8 and 4, are looking forward to the prospect of their moms getting married. Our daughter has drawn designs for our dresses and plans to be maid of honor for both of us. We have a special spot picked out in Central Oregon and have been dreaming of our wedding for quite a while.”
“I am a physician with a large number of LGBT patients; if these patients had legal recognition of their relationships, they wouldn’t have to worry about the added stress or expense of having a Health Care Power of Attorney in place, and they would have the piece of mind that their spouse would have equal rights in regards to hospital visitation and the ability to make medical decisions for them if incapacitated.”
“I married my late husband in Multnomah County in 2004, when marriage licenses were, briefly, offered to same sex couples. So when same sex marriage becomes legal in Oregon, my plans to honor his memory and to recall the joy of saying I do in front of family and friends, will only be strengthened.”
“If the ban is ruled unconstitutional, it takes another step to remove justifications for people to treat gay and lesbian relationships as ‘less than’ and that’s a wonderful thing. If the law says there is a difference and segments out a group of people, preventing them from receiving the same treatment and protections as everyone else, then we have a society that is less accepting, less safe for everyone — regardless of sexual orientation.”
“When (my partner) Kate died, I was in the hospital. When the funeral home came to discuss arrangements, he listened, told me prices and then told me I was not allowed in Oregon to made the decisions. It would have to be one of Kate’s blood relatives. I know that would not be a problem (in my head) but my heart said, ‘What if!’ With marriage, no loving couple will experience what I did.”
“I get scared for my grandchildren should same sex marriage become legal in Oregon or any state.”