Rally on eve of court hearing on Oregon's same-sex marriage ban
EUGENE, Ore. - The voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage is headed to federal court this week in Eugene.
Advocates in favor of overturning the ban planned a vigil outside the Wayne L. Morse U.S. Courthouse on Tuesday ahead of Wednesday's court hearing.
Clark Compton, one of the speakers at the vigil, said his daughter is a lesbian and therefore barred from marrying in Oregon.
"Love matters to everybody and all the committed same-sex couples in the state deserve the right to marry," he said.
"To have people excluded from the marriages vows is wrong," said Rev. Jonathan Morgan, senior minister at First Congregational United Church of Christ.
Oregon's attorney general has said she won't defend the ban.
The National Organization for Marriage intervened, saying it would fight to keep the ban intact.
John Eastman, the organization's chairman, said Oregon law defines marriage as between one man and one woman.
If people want to change the definition of marriage, he said, they need to go through the legal process to change the constitution as the people who put the ban before voters.
He also noted that the judge hearing the case is himself in a same-sex relationship.
"He's a beneficiary of his own ruling," Eastman noted.