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Oregon Will Not Defend Itself In Same-Sex Marriage Lawsuits

Flickr Photo/Serena Epstein (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Oregon will not defend itself in a pair of federal lawsuits challenging the state's prohibition of same-sex marriages.

Democratic Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum took that position in a court brief filed Thursday.

Normally it would be the role of the state's attorney general to defend the state in a lawsuit of this nature.  But Rosenblum is saying that the state will not, in fact, do that. 

Rosenblum also says that this doesn't immediately open the door to same-sex marriage in Oregon. The prohibition in the state's Constitution is still in effect unless and until the federal court rules otherwise.

There's also the possibility that Oregon voters will remove the same-sex marriage ban from the Constitution if the initiative currently under production gets to the ballot this fall, and Oregon voters vote that way.

The section of the Oregon Constitution barring same-sex marriage was put there by voters ten years ago.

Rosenblum was clear during her campaign for attorney general that she supports same-sex marriage.

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Chris Lehman graduated from Temple University with a journalism degree in 1997. He landed his first job less than a month later, producing arts stories for Red River Public Radio in Shreveport, Louisiana. Three years later he headed north to DeKalb, Illinois, where he worked as a reporter and announcer for NPR–affiliate WNIJ–FM. In 2006 he headed west to become the Salem Correspondent for the Northwest News Network.