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
Today, Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum announced that the state of Oregon will not defend laws in Oregon that prohibit same-sex couples from marrying in the state.
2013 was a great year, and we've come so far - but we're not done yet. 2014 will be another big year for marriage as we work to fuel campaigns to win marriage this year, lay the groundwork for further momentum for future years, and fuel the conversation about why marriage matters for all families.
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.
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.