Nigel Campbell's picture

Oregon Will Now Recognize Out-Of-State Same-Sex Marriages

Though same-sex marriage is not currently legal in Oregon, the state will now recognize same-sex marriages performed out-of-state.

Willamette Week writes:

In a memo sent to all state agencies today, state Chief Operating Officer Michael Jordansays any gay couple who wed in a state where same-sex marriage is legal will now 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 writes. "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. 

"The opinion says that for years, Oregon has had a history of recognizing valid marriages that were performed in other states," says Department of Administrative Services spokesman Matt Shelby tells WW. 

There is a 2014 ballot initiative to overturn Oregon's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. The legality of that ban is also being challenged in federal court


In 2004 they let us get married in Oregon and then took it away.
Now we will recognize out of state marriage, while we are still forbidden to marry.
How effed up is that?

Yes, I agree that we have had a rough road with marriage equality in Oregon. The religious right did a good job of muddying public opinion when Measure 36 was passed.  I have a good friend who's partner passed away  two years ago.  They were married in every way except the legal one...which is the one that matters for the survivor.  My friend received no death benefits from his partner's retirement plan or Social Security.  He ended up having to sell the home they shared because he couldn't pay the mortgage on his own.  Ultimately, we pay Social Security taxes, but the survivor benefits are not there for us when we need them.  Until there is a federal law allowing universal gay marriage, some of us will still be second class citizens, denied of benefits that our heterosexual friends take for granted.  As a gay man in my 40's, I've seen a lot of positive change in my lifetime, but in so many instances, we are still treated as if we are less than our straight countrymen.

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