By Daniel Borgen, PQ Monthly
At about 6:00 this evening (on Tuesday), I received an utterly delightful email from Peter Zuckerman at Oregon United for Marriage. It turns out Oregon’s Attorney General, Ellen Rosenblum, filed her response to the federal marriage equality court case this evening. It’s all good news, folks. The highlights:
The filing says, in part: “The state defendants in this case recognize that the ban on same-sex marriage serves no rational purpose and harms Oregon citizens. This case presents that rare case in which there simply is no legal argument to be made in support of a state law” (p. 42, using the page numbers listed at the top of the filing).
Mike Marshall, head of Oregon United for Marriage, had this to say: “We are literally counting down the days until all loving and committed couples in Oregon have the freedom to marry, and we are thrilled that the attorney general is on the right side of history. No one should be told it is illegal to marry the person they love. Freedom means freedom for everyone.”
More highlights from the brief:
“Because the same-sex marriage ban does not further the state’s interest in protecting and promoting families and actually damages that interest, there is no rational justification for maintaining the ban” (p. 33).
“Not only does the same-sex marriage ban fail to further the state’s interest in promoting stable families, it actually harms children” (p. 32).
“The state defendants in this case have carefully analyzed the legal issues presented and find no satisfactory justification on which to defend the state’s ban on same-sex marriages, which blocks those unions from not only the many federal benefits, but also the full societal recognition and support of marriage” (p. 9).
“Other state attorneys general and governors have reached similar conclusions about the defensibility of state laws, and responded by simply declining to appear in defense or withdrawing and joining forces with those challenging the laws. The Oregon state defendants believe it is more appropriate to remain as parties to this litigation to ensure that this Court has the benefit of the careful legal analysis that the state defendants have undertaken.”
“Protecting traditional marriage is not a rational justification for the ban on same-sex marriage.”
“Not only does the same-sex marriage ban fail to further the state’s interest in promoting stable families, it actually harms children.”
“We now live in a state that recognizes and values same-sex couples and their families.”
Rosenblum says marriages could start immediately once the judge rules in the federal marriage court case. PQ Monthly will continue to follow this fast-developing story as circumstances dictate. In the meantime, celebrate and share the good news! This filing is a very good thing.