Supreme Court Denies Attempt To Stop Oregon Same-Sex Marriages

The National Organization for Marriage tried to get the Supreme Court to stop same-sex couples from marrying while it appeals a decision not allowing it to intervene in the case. The Supreme Court denied the request without comment Tuesday.

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court denied the National Organization for Marriage's attempt to stop same-sex couples from marrying in Oregon.

NOM has appealed the trial judge's decision not to let the group, which is opposed to same-sex couples' marriage rights, to intervene in the lawsuit challenging Oregon's ban on such marriages.

The appeal of the intervention denial now continues at the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, but same-sex couples will continue to be able to marry during the time that is happening.

The 9th Circuit, which is hearing that appeal, denied NOM's request to stop the trial court decision striking down the ban from going into effect during the appeal. NOM then went to Justice Anthony Kennedy to ask him to stop the marriages while that appeal is pending before the 9th Circuit.

Kennedy, who hears procedural matters brought to the court from the 9th Circuit, referred the request to the full court, which denied the request without comment on Tuesday.

NOM's appeal of the denial to intervene is the only matter left pending in the case because Oregon state officials had not fought the lawsuit, having agreed with the plaintiffs that the ban is unconstitutional. They had said that they would not appeal the decision if U.S. District Court Judge Michael McShane struck down the ban.

In another case, that challenging Utah's ban on same-sex couples' marriages, the Supreme Court issued a stay in January, which has led most judges hearing marriage cases since to issue a stay during any appeal. Here, however, the argument was not about whether there should be a stay of marriages during an active appeal from state officials, but instead whether NOM was likely to succeed in its attempt to intervene in the lawsuit in the first place.

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