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Oregon to begin recognizing same-sex marriages performed out-of-state

Thursday, October 17, 2013

SALEM, Ore. — The state of Oregon will now recognize the marriages of same-sex couples who legally wed out of state, according to a report by the Willamette Week.

Oregon-flagIn a memo sent to state agencies on Wednesday, state Chief Operating Officer Michael Jordan said any same-sex couple who was legally married in one of the 13 states, or in the District of Columbia, where same-sex marriage is legal, will be eligible for the same benefits as any other married couple.

“Oregon agencies must recognize all out-of-state marriages for the purposes of administering state programs,” Jordan wrote. “That includes legal, same-sex marriages performed in other states and countries.”

Jordan made the decision based on a legal opinion from the Oregon Department of Justice.

Same-sex marriage is not currently legal in Oregon under a 2004 voter-approved constitutional ban, but Oregon United for Marriage, a broad coalition working to overturn the ban, hopes to put the issue back in front of voters in 2014.

The group has worked with volunteers to collect more than 94,000 signatures in support of the initiative. They must collect 116,284 valid signatures from registered Oregon voters before next July to put the initiative on the November 2014 ballot.

If approved, the ballot measure would repeal the state’s current constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, and grant same-sex couples the right to marry in Oregon.

The decision is unrelated to a lawsuit filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Eugene, Ore., on behalf of two same-sex couples, seeking to have the existing ban declared unconstitutional.

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41 more reader comments:

  1. Great step! :)

    Posted on Thursday, October 17, 2013 at 4:31pm
  2. Go, Oregon! :-)

    Posted on Thursday, October 17, 2013 at 4:35pm
  3. WOW HOW NICE…wish i was there

    Posted on Thursday, October 17, 2013 at 4:35pm
  4. Yay Oregon!

    Posted on Thursday, October 17, 2013 at 4:35pm
  5. keep em commin!

    Posted on Thursday, October 17, 2013 at 4:36pm
  6. I see a rush of weddings in southern WA and northern CA :-)

    Posted on Thursday, October 17, 2013 at 4:36pm
  7. like

    Posted on Thursday, October 17, 2013 at 4:37pm
  8. Congrats!!!!

    Posted on Thursday, October 17, 2013 at 4:37pm
  9. Yay!!!

    Posted on Thursday, October 17, 2013 at 4:41pm
  10. Great news, but it’ll be even better when same-sex couples can marry here in Oregon.

    Posted on Thursday, October 17, 2013 at 4:43pm
  11. Sierra Dee

    Posted on Thursday, October 17, 2013 at 4:52pm
  12. Go Oregon! :)

    Posted on Thursday, October 17, 2013 at 4:56pm
  13. Are you listening Michigan? Your ignorance is your own other states have better human recognition.

    Posted on Thursday, October 17, 2013 at 4:57pm
  14. i have high hopes for michigan... People will come around and elect a democrat governor and legislature again...

    Replied on Friday, October 18, 2013 at 9:29am
  15. its time we give people a break how many decades can you just go around discriminating against anyone cant we remember those who fought for inclusion ….

    Posted on Thursday, October 17, 2013 at 4:59pm
  16. A step in the right direction at least.

    Posted on Thursday, October 17, 2013 at 5:09pm
  17. Oh cool, so we don’t need all that paperwork if we’re traveling to Washington, Oregon, or California. Not counting on Arizona doing this any time soon.

    Posted on Thursday, October 17, 2013 at 5:10pm
  18. yayu

    Posted on Thursday, October 17, 2013 at 5:15pm
  19. That’s cool, but that doesn’t make sense. Isn’t gay marriage still not legal in Oregon, but now other gay married couples from another state are recognized? Correct me if I’m wrong please.

    Posted on Thursday, October 17, 2013 at 5:17pm
  20. It means if someone lives in Oregon they can get married out of state and it will be recognized. It's a step towards legalizing it completely.

    Replied on Thursday, October 17, 2013 at 5:21pm
  21. Baby steps! Good job Oregon!!

    Posted on Thursday, October 17, 2013 at 5:23pm
  22. my son got married in Wa last month what a beautiful day and a wonderfully beautiful ceremony they finally had the same opportunity so many deserve.

    Posted on Thursday, October 17, 2013 at 5:23pm
  23. Ok, so if Oregon is willing to do that, why don’t they just legalize it instead of making the couples go elsewhere? It might be a positive step forward, but the principal of it all doesn’t make sense.

    Posted on Thursday, October 17, 2013 at 5:30pm
  24. This is a good first step for Oregon. However, since Gay Marriage is recognized federally, it shouldn’t be decided state by state. That’s how it is right now. All 50 states should have gay marriage legalized.

    Posted on Thursday, October 17, 2013 at 6:53pm
  25. I good step in the right direction. I hope Oregon will be performing these marriages in-state before long.

    Posted on Thursday, October 17, 2013 at 7:08pm
  26. YAY!!! It is just like we were “real” people and our “relationships” were as valid as the rest of the worlds.

    Posted on Thursday, October 17, 2013 at 7:19pm
  27. Stuck in oklahoma, my WIFE and I have been together 8 years, I can hope we will see it completely legal in our lifetime. A big Thankyou to all the men and women who fought to bring us this far! STONEWALL FOREVER

    Posted on Thursday, October 17, 2013 at 7:23pm
  28. Praise You Jesus keep opening all those close minded hearts, in the USA. . thank God there will be many more gorgeous weddings, with high taste.

    Posted on Thursday, October 17, 2013 at 7:49pm
  29. I live in Oregon awesome!

    Posted on Thursday, October 17, 2013 at 8:26pm
  30. …about time…

    Posted on Thursday, October 17, 2013 at 9:07pm
  31. So does this mean that same-sex couples that were married say in new york but then broke up one moved to Oregon one to North Carolina can now get a divorse here in oregon?

    Posted on Thursday, October 17, 2013 at 9:17pm
  32. Now if only our gays could actually get married.

    Posted on Thursday, October 17, 2013 at 9:17pm
  33. Go go go , I am waiting for Thailand too :)

    Posted on Thursday, October 17, 2013 at 9:43pm
  34. Go go go , I am waiting for Thailand too :)

    Posted on Thursday, October 17, 2013 at 9:43pm
  35. Please move here….

    Posted on Thursday, October 17, 2013 at 10:53pm
  36. and the ones in oregon

    Posted on Thursday, October 17, 2013 at 11:44pm
  37. and the ones in oregon

    Posted on Thursday, October 17, 2013 at 11:44pm
  38. Good so when I want to get married I can marry in Vancouver,

    Posted on Friday, October 18, 2013 at 5:40am
  39. *Vancouver, WA that is. Then I’m good when I move to portland

    Posted on Friday, October 18, 2013 at 5:40am
  40. That’s great! Foolish of them not to do it themselves because they are losing a ton o money to other states. Still glad they are getting this part right though.

    Posted on Friday, October 18, 2013 at 10:15am
  41. Doesn’t mean too much until YOU start accepting & performing same sex marriages in your own State!!! But thanks anyways!!! :/ :/ :/

    Posted on Friday, October 18, 2013 at 3:38pm