It's a vivid sign of the dwindling clout of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM): four major losses in the span of just a few days in Oregon.
Last week Judge Michael McShane stopped NOM's attempt to intervene in the marriage-equality case. They filed their request too late, he said. NOM's lateness was particularly surprising given that they had months to prepare for the case but filed their request less than two days before oral argument.
It's hard to imagine how NOM could have fumbled so seriously in Oregon. It was back in February that Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum announced that she would not defend the state's marriage-equality ban. But according to NOM, they waited until March because they didn't predict that Rosenblum would call for heightened scrutiny.
That's a strange claim, since it's a fairly standard line of reasoning. Apparently the excuse didn't persuade McShane, since he rejected NOM's attempt to intervene.
McShane also slapped down NOM's assertion that he should recuse himself because he is openly gay, and also that NOM should not have to reveal the anonymous clients on whose behalf they wanted to intervene.
And then, of course, came the biggest loss of all: The marriage-equality ban was overturned on Monday. With no party interested in appealing the ruling, the case likely ends here, with marriage equality the law of the land in Oregon.
The organization's losses last week don't end there: A judge in Idaho overturned that state's marriage-equality ban. Further victories are on the horizon in Pennsylvania and Virginia, where lawyers returned to court last week. And new lawsuits in Florida and Alaska bring the total number of national marriage-equality lawsuits to around 70 -- though official counts are hard to come by.