Oregon’s Attorney General is not going to defend Oregon’s marriage amendment, an amendment passed by the people of Oregon. Thus, as the federal lawsuit challenging the people’s amendment proceeds through adjudication, it is imperative that the County Clerks, who will be responsible for implementing and overseeing changes, step in to defend the constitutional amendment that the people passed. When leaders at the state level fail the residents of Oregon and undermine the highest law of Oregon, local officials must defend the ballot initiatives of the people, or the whole process will be compromised.
Oregon’s County Clerks have legal standing to intervene in these lawsuits, and a national public interest law firm, Liberty Counsel, recently offered to represent Oregon County clerks in this case for free. This case is about more than partisan politics, which some of the Clerks seem to want to avoid.
These lawsuits are about preserving the integrity of Oregon’s Constitution, protecting the initiative process, safeguarding the right to vote, maintaining the separation of powers, and preserving marriage as it has always been defined in Oregon. Oregon County Clerks must step in and to the right thing.
Oregonians are dependent upon their County Clerks to defend Oregon’s constitutional marriage amendment. Each Oregonian should encourage their County Clerk to accept pro bono representation from Liberty Counsel (800-671-1776) and intervene in these lawsuits, and time is of the essence. Substantive briefing on this case happens this month and the cases go to trial in April. If our County Clerks don’t take a stand for our rights, who will?
Member of the Oregon State Bar and Former Resident of Wallowa County, OR