will hear next week's marriage equality case in Oregon.
Unlike the five federal judges who have struck down laws prohibiting same-sex marriages in other states in recent months, McShane won't have anyone in the courtroom defending Oregon's constitutional ban when he holds oral arguments Wednesday. And, unlike the other judges, McShane also happens to be one of just nine openly gay members of the federal judiciary, according to the Human Rights Campaign. It's an unusual combination of factors for the 53-year-old jurist, who has served as a federal judge for less than a year. McShane, citing the sensitivity of the case, declined to be interviewed for this story. But friends say they're confident he'll produce a careful decision while setting aside any personal feelings. "You don't want to be the lawyer going in saying with a wink, 'I'm the lawyer on the gay-marriage side and he's going to be with me,'" says Lane Borg, who heads Metropolitan Public Defender and has known McShane for decades. "They would be ill-advised to think that just because Michael is gay that he is going to rule that way."NOM chairman John Eastman has the sadz: "The question is not his sexual orientation, but whether he is situated identically to the plaintiffs and will benefit from the exact relief he provides to them."
RELATED: McShane began his career as a public defender in Portland. He was nominated to the federal bench by President Obama in September 2012. (Tipped by JMG reader Sam)