John M. Becker

Oregon Now Recognizing Legal Same-Sex Marriages

Filed By John M. Becker | October 17, 2013 12:45 PM | comments

Filed in: Living, Marriage Equality
Tags: gay marriage, marriage equality, Oregon, same-sex marriage

oregon_rainbow.pngThe state of Oregon will now recognize the legal marriages of same-sex couples who married in other jurisdictions, according to a report from Willamette Week:

In a memo sent to all state agencies today, state Chief Operating Officer Michael Jordan says 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.

Oregon added an exclusionary definition of marriage to the state constitution in 2004, so same-sex couples in that state who wish to take advantage of the new policy would have to wed in a marriage equality jurisdiction such as neighboring Washington or California. But earlier this week, two couples sued to overturn Oregon's marriage discrimination amendment. Hopefully the day is coming soon when LGBT Oregonians will only have to travel as far as their local town clerk's office to marry the person they love.

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