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Federal appeals court dismisses final challenge to Oregon same-sex marriage

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit [official website] on Wednesday dismissed [order, PDF] an appeal [docket] by the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) [advocacy website] over the lifting of Oregon's same-sex marriage ban. NOM attempted to appeal the recent lifting [JURIST report] of Oregon's 2004 ban under the assertion that ending the ban would bring harm to several unnamed parties. However, in May a federal judge held that the advocacy group could not intervene [JURIST report], as only state officials should be able to defend the state's ban. Following that reasoning, the appeals court held that NOM had no legal standing on which to bring the claims. In doing so, the court upheld a May 19 district court decision that struck down the ban, calling it a violation of equal protection under the 14th Amendment [text]. NOM could still appeal the decision to the US Supreme Court [official website].

Since the US Supreme Court struck down [JURIST report] section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act [text] last year, numerous state and federal courts have declared state same-sex marriage bans [JURIST backgrounder] unconstitutional. In June a federal judge in Indiana ruled the state's ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional [JURIST report]. Also in June the ACLU challenged Alabama's same sex marriage ban, days after Wisconsin's same-sex marriage ban [JURIST reports] was struck down. In May a federal judge struck down [JURIST report] Pennsylvania's same sex marriage ban. Nineteen US states currently allow same-sex marriage, and more than 70 lawsuits are pending in all 31 others.

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