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Oregon Will Recognize Same-Sex Marriages From Other States

by Jean Ann Esselink on October 21, 2013

in DOMA,Jean Ann Esselink,News

Effective immediately, the state of Oregon will recognize marriages of same-sex couples from marriage equality states.

The Oregon Department of Justice issued the ruling last week, noting Oregon has historically recognized marriages from other states and countries that would not have been legal to enter into in the state of Oregon. The ruling says same-sex marriages should be no different.

In response to the ruling, Michael Jordan (not that Michael Jordan) the Chief Operating Officer of the state, sent out a memo to all state agencies saying:

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

Although Oregon passed “Measure 36″, a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, in 2004, opponents from Oregon United For Marriage hope to overturn it with a ballot measure next year. They have earmarked $12 million toward that effort.

“Oregon will be the first state to amend the constitution in favor of the freedom to marry,” predicts Thomas Wheatley from Freedom to Marry. “This is a good sign nationally.”

A 2009 attempt to overturn to Oregon’s marriage equality ban in the courts was unsuccessful, ending when the Oregon Supreme Court refused to hear the appeal. But last week a new legal challenge was announced. Attorneys Lee Ann Easton and Lake Perriguey, filed suit October 15 in U.S. District Court, on behalf of two gay couples who wish to marry. Perriguey said he is optimistic about his client’s chances:

“We would like a federal district judge in Oregon to find that there is no rational, legitimate or compelling governmental interest that would allow Oregon’s anti-gay constitutional amendment to stand. It will not withstand constitutional scrutiny.”

Oregon United for Marriage is looking for volunteers to help collect signatures to get a repeal of Oregon’s “Measure 36″ on the ballot in 2014. If you can help, you can sign up here.

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LOrion October 21, 2013 at 3:10 pm

I think the new TENN case addresses this more directly …eg applicably to ALL STATES. Breaking: Lawsuit Filed Against Tennessee Ban On Same-Sex Marriage
#NCLR explained why they are suing #Tennessee. “The lawsuit argues that Tennessee’s laws prohibiting recognition of the couples’ marriages violates the federal #Constitution’s guarantees of #equalprotection and due process and the constitutionally protected right to #travel between and #move to other states.”

James_M_Martin October 21, 2013 at 7:46 pm

This may be the first "full faith and credit" position taken by a state, and it flies in the face of states like Texas that have already had gay or lesbian couples attempt to get a divorce after marrying in other states and moving to the Lone Star State. Married heterosexuals can divorce in any state they wish and the legitimacy of their marriage is never even questioned. They simply file a petition for divorce making bare-faced allegations of the year and place of their marriage, then read the same information into the record when they go before the judge. The divorcing state, once the residency requirements have been met (in Texas it is six months in the state and 90 days in the country where the divorce is filed), simply takes the marriage allegations at face value and honors the laws of the marriage state, no problem. But in Texas, which will probably be the last state in the union to pass a gay marriage law (if ever), will not allow a same sex couple to obtain a Texas divorce. In other words, they are violating the U. S. Constitutional provision for all the states giving "full faith and credit" to the laws of sister states. The situation could be resolved if the SCOTUS would simply order otherwise without the necessity of there being a national law providing for same sex marriage in the first place — which I fear will never happen.

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