Nike, Intel lobby to overturn gay marriage ban

Supports of same-sex marriage collect signatures at a booth in Waterfront Park in Portland, Ore., as part of a petition to get the initiative onto the 2014 November ballot. Friday, July 26, 2013. (Douglas Key/KOIN 6 News)
Supports of same-sex marriage collect signatures at a booth in Waterfront Park in Portland, Ore., as part of a petition to get the initiative onto the 2014 November ballot. Friday, July 26, 2013. (Douglas Key/KOIN 6 News)

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – Sponsors of a ballot measure to legalize gay marriage in Oregon have asked a federal judge to make a speedy ruling in a case that challenges the state’s ban.

The campaign said in a filing Tuesday it won’t go ahead with its initiative if Judge Michael McShane overturns the ban quickly. Otherwise, the sponsors said, they would press ahead with the campaign – at great time and expense.

McShane has scheduled oral arguments for April 23 on two consolidated lawsuits challenging the prohibition.

Also Tuesday, a coalition of 36 Oregon employers – including Nike and Intel – filed a “friend of the court” legal brief in support of overturning the ban.

The employers say Oregon’s marriage exclusion makes it more difficult to recruit talent.

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