STATUS: Broad domestic partnership, anti-marriage constitutional amendment, out-of-state marriages honored
WHAT'S HAPPENING: State advocacy groups are working toward fairness for all of Oregon's families by overturning a constitutional amendment that prohibits the freedom to marry for same-sex couples in the state. Oregon United for Marriage is currently leading the charge to collect enough signatures to place a ballot measure in favor of the freedom to marry before Oregon voters in November 2014.
HISTORY: In March 2004, the Multnomah County in Oregon began issuing marriage licenses for same-sex couples, but after a months-long back-and-forth in the courts, these marriage licenses were declared invalid.
In November 2004, anti-gay forces in Oregon pushed through Ballot Measure 36, a constitutional amendment that excludes same-sex couples from marriage and prohibits same-sex couples from attaining any form of legal family status.
On May 9, 2007, Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski signed a broad domestic partnership bill after it was approved by the state legislature. The law - which provides some, but not all, of the protections that marriage affords - went into effect on February 1, 2008.
On October 18, 2013, Oregon began honoring the marriages of same-sex couples who legally married out of state, but continues to deny couples the freedom to marry in the state.
GROUPS ACTIVELY WORKING ON MARRIAGE:
- Oregon United for Marriage is the growing coalition dedicated to securing the freedom to marry for same-sex couples, leading the campaign to make Oregon the first state to proactively amend the constitution at the ballot in support of the freedom to marry.
- Basic Rights Oregon is Oregon's central state organization committed to ending discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
- Freedom to Marry is the campaign to win marriage for same-sex couples nationwide.
- Human Rights Campaign is the United States' largest national lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization.
POLLING DATA: A December 2012 poll found that 54 percent of people in Oregon would vote to approve the freedom to marry, while only 40 percent said they would oppose marriage for same-sex couples. Independents support marriage by a 64-33 margin, and voters younger than 45 support the freedom to marry by a margin of 68-30.
NUMBER OF SAME-SEX COUPLES: According to The Williams Institute's analysis of the 2010 U.S. Census, 11,773 same-sex couples are living in Oregon, representing 7.8 same-sex couples per 1,000 households.
Blog Posts Related to Oregon
This week, Oregon United for Marriage released a wonderful new video featuring Ed and Warren, a same-sex couple who have lived in Oregon their entire lives and want to, finally, be able to marry.
It's been a big week for the freedom to marry as the playing field of states working to pass marriage laws and defeat anti-gay initiatives widens more broadly than ever. Here are some of this week's highlights on how we moved forward:
Today, state officials in Oregon announced that effective immediately, Oregon would equally honor the marriages of same-sex couples who legally marry out of state.
Resources Related to Oregon
A survey of the national marriage landscape and guide for same-sex couples married by the Coquille Indian Tribe.
An article on the first same-sex couple to legally wed in the Coquille Tribe.
Handouts used in Oregon’s public education campaign about why marriage matters to gay and lesbian couples.