State Laws and Legislation

Oregon Marriage/Relationship Recognition Law

Licenses marriages for same-sex couples? No.
For a period in 2004, licenses were issued to same-sex couples in Multnomah County. However, a judge issued an injunction prohibiting any additional licenses from being issued and told the state to register the more than 3,000 marriages that had occurred. The Oregon Court of Appeal affirmed this judgment in July 2004 and directed that these marriages be registered. In 2005, following passage of a constitutional amendment defining marriage as being between a man and a woman only, the Oregon Supreme Court ruled that all marriage licenses issued to gay and lesbian couples in Multnomah County at any time were void.

Honors marriages of same-sex couples from other jurisdictions? No.

Oregon law states: “Marriage is a civil contract entered into in person by males at least 17 years of age and females at least 17 years of age, who are otherwise capable, and solemnized in accordance with ORS 106.150.”

The Oregon Constitution states: "It is the policy of Oregon, and its political subdivisions, that only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or legally recognized as a marriage."

Any form of statewide relationship recognition for same-sex couples? Yes.
Same-sex couples in Oregon can enter into domestic partnerships that provide the same rights, benefits, and responsibilities as marriage under state law, thanks to the Oregon Family Fairness Act, Public Law Number 99, (2007). Domestic partnerships offer same-sex couples the benefits of marriage under state law, but none of the federal protections (such as Social Security survivor benefits), and there is no guarantee that the partnerships will be recognized by other states or the federal government.

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Updated: Thu, February 26, 2009 - 12:00:26