Vigils in Support of Marriage Equality Planned all over Oregon; National Organization for Marriage Files Motion to Intervene in Oregon Marriage Case

By Daniel Borgen, PQ Monthly

You had to know this was coming, right? The National Organization for Marriage is throwing a Hail Mary pass and hoping they can meddle in our inevitable, pending nuptials. From their press release:

The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) said it will file a motion in federal court seeking to intervene in the case challenging the constitutionality of the 2004 state ballot measure that defined marriage as the union of one man and one woman. NOM seeks to protect the interests of its members in Oregon which include a County Clerk, professionals in the wedding industry and voters who supported the 2004 amendment to the state constitution. The group said the intervention filing became necessary when the state Attorney General refused to mount a defense of the amendment, a situation that creates a “collusive” lawsuit where the public’s interests are unrepresented.

“Marriage in Oregon is worthy of defense, yet the Attorney General has abandoned her duty to defend the marriage state constitutional amendment enacted overwhelmingly in 2004 and in effect has switched sides,” said Brian Brown, president of NOM. “As a membership organization, we speak on behalf of our members, including a County Clerk in the state, several professionals in the wedding industry, and voters. All of these individuals have a particularized interest in the outcome of the litigation, yet their interests are not being represented. We are working to protect the interests of our members who support true marriage against a collusive lawsuit that has the state joining with the plaintiffs against the interests of our members, and the state’s voters.”

Brian Brown also had this to say: “We are acting to protect the interests of our members in Oregon who support traditional marriage, including government officials, voters and those in the wedding industry, who will be directly impacted by this collusive lawsuit which the state has refused to defend.”

Oh Brian, I just want to give you a hug and let you know everything’s going to be just fine. All that hate in your heart must hurt.

You can read the entirety of their heinous views here, where NOM’s chairman says homosexuality is “evil” and compares it to barbarism.

This is why it’s more important then ever to show the world Oregon is ready and embracing marriage equality. Here’s a list of the vigils planned for this evening:

WHAT: On the eve of the final arguments about marriage equality, Oregon United for Marriage, Basic Rights Oregon and the ACLU of Oregon are hosting a series of vigils in seven cities across the state, from Portland to Pendleton, to mark this historic moment. Hundreds of Oregonians have already RSVP’d.

WHEN/WHERE: Except where noted, the vigils will be held from 5:30 to 6:30PM Tuesday at these locations:

  • Portland: Terry Schrunk Plaza, SW 3rd Avenue and Madison Street

  • Eugene: Wayne Morse Federal Courthouse, 405 E. Eighth Ave.

  • Bend: Peace Corner, 1033 NW Wall St. (gather at 4:30 p.m.)

  • Medford: Jackson County Courthouse, 10 S. Oakdale Ave.

  • Pendleton: Roy Raley Park, 1205 SW Court Ave.

  • Hood River: Overlook Memorial Park, 2nd Street and State Street

  • Newport: Nana’s Irish Pub, 613 NW Third Ave. (gather at 6:30 p.m.)

WHO: Hundreds of Oregonians—young and old, Republican and Democrat, from the coast to the high desert—will come together to celebrate the long road toward the freedom to marry to Oregon. Together, they’ll send a powerful message: Oregon is ready for marriage. Speakers will include committed couples who are directly impacted by the court ruling, along with community, business, and faith leaders.

WHY: The vigils will celebrate the hard work, support and enthusiasm that it’s taken to get to this historic moment. They will also demonstrate that Oregon is ready for the freedom to marry. Support for marriage equality in Oregon is at a record high of 55 percent, according to a poll released in February.

THE CASES: The federal court cases, Rummell v. Kitzhaber and Geiger v. Kitzhaber, were filed last year. Staff attorneys for the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Oregon, together with volunteer counsel Misha Isaak and Tom Johnson of Perkins Coie, LLP, and Jennifer Middleton of Johnson, Johnson & Schaller, PC, filed a federal lawsuit in December in U.S. District Court in Eugene on behalf of two same-sex couples who wish to marry in Oregon and Basic Rights Education Fund. In January, the judge consolidated the case with one filed earlier on behalf of two additional couples by Portland attorneys Lake Perriguey and Lea Ann Easton.

WHAT’S NEXT: The final arguments are scheduled for 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday at the federal courthouse in Eugene.

And a reminder that this happened yesterday: Racial justice organizations endorse the freedom to marry. NAACP chapters, the Urban League, Causa, Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon (APANO) and the Native American Youth and Family Center (NAYA) are among the 16 endorsing organizations. 

The tide has turned, Mr. Brown. Time to step aside and let history unfold as it’s meant to.

Spread the word–tell your friends, your family. Get thee to those vigils tonight!