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Judge Won't Issue Immediate Decision In Oregon Gay Marriage Case

M.O. Stevens

A federal judge in Oregon will not issue an immediate decision Wednesday in a lawsuit seeking to overturn the state's ban on same-sex marriage.

That news comes as gay rights advocates prepare to argue their side in Eugene.

Four same-sex couples filed a federal lawsuit for the right to have their marriage legally recognized in Oregon. The state decided not to defend the voter-approved law, so going into this week's oral arguments, no one was scheduled to argue in favor of the gay marriage ban.

But this week the National Organization of Marriage filed a last-minute motion to intervene in the case. U.S. District Judge Michael McShane says he'll let the group make its case on May 14. That means that the Judge won't make a final ruling for at least three more weeks.

The decision leaves gay rights advocates in a holding pattern.

"This case has been interesting from the beginning and it looks like we're going to have a very interesting spring as it unfolds," says Executive Director of the ACLU of Oregon, David Fidanque.

Same-sex marriage advocates were hoping for a quick ruling. That’s because they need to make a decision on whether to put a measure on the ballot this fall to repeal the marriage ban.