Judge: No decision until next month on Oregon's same-sex marriage ban

PORTLAND, Ore. - A judge will hear arguments about Oregon's ban on same-sex marriage in federal court Wednesday.

A national organization hopes to step in at the last minute and defend the state's ban on gay marriage since the state's attorney general said she won't.

The judge said Tuesday that he will not make a decision until at least May 14 after he's had a chance to hear from the group that wants to defend the state law as it is now. That group is the National Organization for Marriage.

Ben West, a plaintiff in the case, said he's excited, but anxious, and will be leaving for Eugene Wednesday morning to be there for the arguments that start at 1:30 p.m.

West never thought he would be involved in something so high profile but said he's doing this for his son.

"He's had a rough start to life. He's had a lot things go on that are really tough. So we want him to know his family is secure, and he has permanency and that his family is as recognized and stable and legitimate as any other family," West said. "We're asking you to think of the person you're working with, or go to school with, or may be a family member - and what do you want for them? I hope you want them to feel safety and security in their relationships and to be able to have a loving committed relationship that's recognized."

But others want the judge to uphold the ban. A last-minute court filing from the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) requests that the judge allow the organization to "intervene" and argue in favor of the state law, defining marriage only as between a man and woman. The judge will consider it next month.

"Oregon Family Council believes it is shameful that Oregon Attorney General, Ellen Rosenblum has refused to fulfill her elected duty to defend the Oregon Constitution," said Oregon Family Council Executive Director Jack Louman in a statement. "We support any intervention to defend Oregon's marriage laws that were duly enacted by the people of Oregon. Everyone has had their voice heard in this case except the majority of Oregonians who voted to define marriage as between one man and one woman in 2004."

A couple hundred gay marriage supporters gathered at Terry Schrunk Plaza from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday to send a message that they are ready for the freedom to marry.