Court denies request to stay Oregon gay marriage

Associated Press
Supporters of same-sex marriage hold photos of themselves and their family members or partners on the steps of the Wayne L Morse U.S. Courthouse Wednesday, May 14, 2014, in Eugene, Ore. A federal judge will hear arguments Wednesday about whether a national group can defend Oregon's ban on same-sex marriage because the state's attorney general has refused to do so. (AP Photo/The Register-Guard, Chris Pietsch)
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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A federal appeals court's ruling has cleared the way for same-sex marriages to begin immediately in Oregon if a judge's ruling allows it.

A panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday denied a national group's request to block a federal judge's impending ruling that could strike down the state's same-sex marriage ban.

U.S. District Judge Michael McShane is expected to invalidate the voter-approved ban at noon. The state attorney general had refused to defend the ban in lawsuits brought by four same-sex couples.

The National Organization for Marriage earlier unsuccessfully sought to defend the ban on behalf of its Oregon members.

On Monday morning, the 9th Circuit panel denied the group's request for an emergency stay.

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