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National Organization for Marriage Now Struggling to Stay Relevant (VIDEO)

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There was a time that the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) was a leading national force in opposition to marriage equality, but those days are long gone, never to return. The latest case in point: Oregon, where NOM's last-minute attempt to stop equality floundered in front of a judge.

The Oregon case is actually two cases dating back several months. They were consolidated in preparation for a hearing that occurred last week. At that hearing, the state's marriage-equality ban was to have no defender, because state officials agreed that it was unconstitutional.

But with just two days before the hearing, NOM suddenly announced that they wanted to intervene to defend the ban. They also asked for a delay in the hearing so that they'd have time to put their arguments together.

If their request had been granted, that could have been very disruptive to the equality effort in Oregon. That's because there's a ballot measure to overturn the marriage-equality ban being planned for this November; if the court upheld the ban, the ballot measure would have gone ahead, but if the ban were overturned, the ballot measure would have been unnecessary.

If NOM had succeeded in delaying the hearing, it might have thrown the ballot measure into uncertainty. But they failed, with the judge allowing the hearing to go forward on Thursday. NOM will have a hearing in May to determine what role -- if any -- they'll have in the case.

Meanwhile, there's been the usual weekly slew of good news from other states: A marriage-equality ban overturned in Texas, studies showing the economic benefits of marriage equality in Virginia and Utah; and an impending case in South Dakota.

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