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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