American Foundation for Equal Rights

Marriage News Blog

Oregon now recognizes marriages from out of state for gay and lesbian couples

The state of Oregon will recognize the marriages of gay and lesbian couples who were wed out of state, according to a memo sent last week to all state agencies, reports the Willamette Week.

Oregon’s Chief Operating Officer Michael Jordan says any gay couple who got married in a place with marriage equality 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. That includes legal, same sex marriages performed in other states and countries,” he wrote.

For newlyweds Sean and Laurence it means their California marriage license will be fully recognized at the state and federal levels. When Sean took a new job in Portland, the couple tied the knot officially. He said:

“When we moved from California to Oregon, in some ways it felt like a step backwards since neither our marriage nor our previous domestic partnership were honored here. So, despite having been together for 8 years, we were suddenly legal strangers to one another. For us it was ‘separate but equal’ all over again, similar to what happened in California when Prop. 8 passed.”

Laurence chimed in:

“Oregonians are so friendly and welcoming. It was a real shock to find out that we had to start from scratch and get a second domestic partnership. This policy change is going to make it much easier in the future for couples who move to Oregon or for Oregonians who marry in other states. It reflects the warm and welcoming reception that we’ve had here. Hopefully marriage equality will pass in 2014 and all couples will be treated equally, then the laws will truly reflect Oregon values.”

Momentum for full marriage equality is gaining speed in the Beaver State:

Oregon United for Marriage continues to collect signatures to put a pro-marriage equality initiative on the ballot in 2014.