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NOM Loses, Again, In Appeal Trying To Intervene In Oregon's Marriage Case

The National Organization for Marriage is still fighting a marriage case that, for most people, ended more than six months ago.

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Alicia J. Rose Photography / Getty Images

Deanna Geiger and Janine Nelson, plaintiffs in the case challenging Oregon's ban on same-sex couples' marriages, were the first same-sex couple to get married in Oregon on May 19, 2014.

WASHINGTON — The National Organization for Marriage's long-shot request to intervene in the case over Oregon's marriage ban — which has been rejected twice previously — was rejected by the full 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday.

The ruling comes in a side-issue that has been pending, even as same-sex couples have been marrying in the state for more than six months — ever since a federal court judge struck down Oregon's ban on same-sex couples' marriages as unconstitutional on May 19.

NOM, which sought unsuccessfully to intervene in the case challenging the ban, had then appealed the trial court's intervention denial to the 9th Circuit. After a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit rejected NOM's appeal, the group, in early September, asked the full 9th Circuit to reconsider its appeal.

In light of the Supreme Court's decision to dismiss the appeal of the proponents of California's Proposition 8 because it held that the proponents did not have standing to bring an appeal when state officials chose not to do so, NOM — with an even less clear interest in protecting Oregon's law than the Prop 8 proponents had in California — was seen as mounting an exceptionally uphill battle.

There had been no public word from the 9th Circuit on NOM's request until Monday, when the court announced that no judges on the 9th Circuit requested a vote on whether to reconsider NOM's appeal. As such, the court held, "[T]he National Organization for Marriage's petition for rehearing en banc is denied."

NOM could file a petition for certiorari with the Supreme Court, asking the justices to take on their case.

NOM had previously, despite being denied intervention in the Oregon case, tried to take the issue to the Supreme Court, when it asked the justices to stop same-sex couples from marrying in the state while the issue of its intervention denial could be resolved. In June, the Supreme Court denied that stay request with no explanation.

Chris Geidner is the legal editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, DC. In 2014, Geidner won the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association award for journalist of the year.

Contact Chris Geidner at chris.geidner@buzzfeed.com.

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