NOM wants to defend Oregon’s marriage ban

Timothy Kincaid

April 21st, 2014

It has finally come to the attention of the National Organization for Marriage (theirs, not yours) that no one is defending the anti-gay marriage ban in Oregon (maybe they read Box Turtle Bulletin).

And so, two days before the hearing begins, NOM has decided that they will step in and fill the void. (NOMBlog)

NOM’s lead legal counsel — its chairman John Eastman — will tell the federal court in the filing today that NOM’s members in Oregon include a county clerk who must perform marriages and certify them, professionals in the wedding industry, and voters who cannot defend their interests in upholding the law themselves due to legitimate fear of reprisal.

“It is precisely for this reason that federal law has a strong premise that organizations like NOM should be able to intervene to defend the interests of their members who cannot adequately defend those interests themselves,” said John Eastman, NOM’s Chairman and Director of the Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence at The Claremont Institute.

If our motion to intervene is granted, we intend to fully and aggressively defend the state constitutional amendment.

Now I suppose it is possible that Eastman missed that tiny little obscure Proposition 8 case in which the Supreme Court said that the organization that wrote the proposition, campaigned for it, and got it passed did not have standing to defend the state law. Or perhaps he thinks that anonymous members and county clerks in the state give NOM standing.

And wouldn’t it be funny as all hell seeing Eastman make a fool of himself and his organization and having his rather prodigious posterior handed to him on a platter.

But no, it’s likelier that Eastman is just being a blowhard and won’t even turn in a motion. He probably just wanted some way to say the following without looking like a completely bigoted purveyor of bullpoopery.

Eastman also said that news reports over the weekend that Judge Michael McShane is in a long-term relationship with another man and that the two are raising a child together raise serious ethical questions about whether the judge should continue to hear the case.

“These recent news reports suggest that Judge McShane is in the same position as the two gay men challenging the marriage amendment, raising troubling questions about his impartiality,” Eastman said.

He knows that the courts have already ruled that gay judges ruling on matters that impact gay people are not presumed to be partial. It’s just an appeal to the baser nature of NOM’s supporters.

Jon Trouten

April 21st, 2014

Please Please Please Please!!!


April 21st, 2014

The Supreme Court said that did not have standing to APPEAL the Prop 8 case. It did have standing to defend the case. Had it not had standing to defend the case, Judge Walker’s ruling would have been vacated.


April 21st, 2014

You’re going to seriously tell me they did not know that this Oregon case proceeding without a “defender?”

Not buying that, so why did they come up two days before? They know the judge won’t allow it this late, so they:

1. Think that will give them grounds to appeal without having to actually put on a defense, and delay implementation of gay marriages in the state (which they are probably pretty sure are coming).

2. Believe it gives them a fundraising appeal when they get the sadz because they weren’t allowed to intervene.

Timothy Kincaid

April 21st, 2014

Thanks, Robert, good catch


April 21st, 2014

When your organization is going financially bankrupt you become desperate for a paycheck.


April 21st, 2014

Because any legal scholar will tell you that 48 hours’ notice clearly falls within the definition of “timely”, right? :P


April 21st, 2014

@BJohnM- you hit the nail on the head with your second point.


April 22nd, 2014

Judge McShane’s relationship only raises serious ethical questions if you assume that everyone is as ethically bankrupt as Eastman.

Filing at the last minute while making a statement like that only insures that NOM’s attempt to intervene is going to be shot down, which will provide Eastman with another excuse to slam the judge. Neat, huh?

Bose in St. Peter MN

April 22nd, 2014

If Fred Karger’s experience being deposed by him is any indication, it would be thoroughly entertaining to have Eastman in the courtroom.


April 22nd, 2014

“and voters who cannot defend their interests in upholding the law themselves due to legitimate fear of reprisal”

I want somebody to explain that to me. How exactly would the average citizen (AC) “defend their interests in upholding the law”? I can’t assume he thinks the AC is capable of ensuring this law is upheld. If he means the right of the average citizen to defend the law in court, he is being disingenuous. Would an AC legally be able to stand up as a defendant of the law in court? I somehow doubt it, in which case, it is not their “fear of reprisal” but rather their lack of standing keeping them from taking action. And if he wants “fear of reprisal,” he should imagine the life of a gay couple standing up for their rights in the imaginary ‘murica he inhabits, where everybody hates the gays (but has somehow been scared into silence). These brave couples putting their names and faces out in public view are more likely than the AC to face violence and scorn, even in the real US, where a growing majority of people are accepting of marriage equality.

Personally, I hope the Judge agrees to let NOM act. Then when Eastman says he needs more time to prepare, the Judge can say, “Now or never. Why volunteer to act as a defendant when you weren’t ready?” Thus, NOM can’t act, and look bad doing it, too.

Regan DuCasse

April 22nd, 2014

Eastman learned nothing from the Senate hearing in which he testified when NOM accused pro gay groups of outing NOM to the IRS.

Their accusations didn’t get very far, after all, their lack of paying up taxes to states in which they operated their orgs, got the spotlight.
Which is common knowledge, not something illegally done by anyone.
Also, a Senator told Eastman very bluntly that NOM ‘did no social good whatsoever’, that justified their existence.

Eastman later complained that he’d been unfairly attacked and that’s what the gay agenda is about whenever NOM has to make an appearance in places under oath or where they aren’t in control of the questions being asked.

SCOTUS is made up of six Catholics, something that gays could complain makes them bias.
And gays are subject to presumably straight judges making decisions about their lives all the time.
All of NOM’s clients in this instance, are going to have a damn hard time of it calling this issue discriminatory against their ‘religious freedom’, when they do not exercise this religious objections or tests of background against any of the sexual morality of the OTHER members of the public they serve.
Eastman using the judge’s orientation as an objection, instead of the lack of evidence and facts on his side, is weak.
Eastman is LEGAL counsel?
Damn his legal expertise isn’t worth the sheepskin it’s supposed to represent.


April 23rd, 2014

I heard O’Reilly the other day stating categorically that the ONLY reason why the “gay agenda” appears to be prevailing in the court of public opinion is because people fear reprisal for speaking out against homosexuality… he used what’s-his-name from Mozilla being “forced” to step down as a case in point. I find this to be an interesting spin and an effective tactic to help those who feel disenfranchised – or fearful about the changes in the world of which they do not approve – to justify why they are on the losing side of history: people secretly agree them, but are too scared to say so. This makes the adherents of Faux News (a.k.a. Christian martyrs) the real, super majority defending those too frightened to speak up for themselves. I find this Orwellian argument as fascinating as it is despicable. It is an indication of just how tenacious our foes intend to be in order to keep people from finally giving up and switching the channel on their TVs. Like peddling the belief in Obama’s missing Kenyan birth certificate, the truth doesn’t matter so long as you can keep just enough people believing the right lie. Someday historians will have to come up with a whole new language to describe this time in which we live.


April 23rd, 2014

Oooh, awkward.

Opening arguments in the legal challenge to Oregon’s ban on same-sex marriage will go on as scheduled today at the Federal Courthouse in Eugene, after the judge slated to hear those arguments declined to delay the trial to allow the National Organization for Marriage to intervene in defense of the law. At today’s hearing, there will be no attorney arguing in favor of keeping the law.

So we will have the lopsided trial that Timothy anticipated.

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