UPDATE: On Tuesday, May 27, the D.C.-based National Organization for Marriage filed a motion with the Supreme Court of the United States requesting a stay on the historic decision striking down Oregon’s marriage ban. You can read NOM’s motion here. Response briefs are due Monday, June 2, at 10 am PST.
HISTORIC: Judge Michael McShane has ruled that Oregon’s marriage ban is unconstitutional! Stay tuned for more updates. CLICK HERE to read the ruling.
The ruling will go into effect immediately, and marriage licenses will soon be available in counties across the state. Already, hundreds of same-sex couples have received marriage licenses.
Earlier, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals denied the D.C.-based National Organization for Marriage’s last-ditch attempt to put a halt on marriages in Oregon. You can read all the court documents below:
Background on the case
On April 23, Judge Michael McShane heard arguments in Rummell v. Kitzhaber and Geiger v. Kitzhaber, the consolidated case arguing that Oregon’s constitutional ban on marriage for lesbian and gay couples—Measure 36—violates the U.S. Constitution. The case is now in the judge’s hands, and a decision could be issued at any time. Litigation is always uncertain and we’re not taking anything for granted, but the outcome on legal strategies grows more positive each week across the country. While we are hopeful for a positive outcome, Oregon United for Marriage will continue to be nimble in assessing the quickest and most strategic path to marriage as the court case unfolds. Whether in the courts or at the ballot, Oregon United for Marriage is working to win the freedom to marry for same-sex couples in 2014. If you are a couple interested in marrying should the judge rule in favor of marriage in Oregon:
- Please see below for additional information to inform your plans.
- Please let us know if you intend to wed on the first day it is legal (or soon after; licenses are valid for 60 days)—we may have media interested in talking to you on your big day!
FAQ: Getting Married in Oregon
Where can I get a marriage license?
Marriage licenses are issued by Oregon’s counties—please see below for a list of Oregon’s county marriage license offices. You must appear in person to get a marriage license. Both parties must be present. You can fill out the application online in advance through many county clerk’s websites (note: when marriage becomes legal for same-sex couples in Oregon, the online application will be updated to allow same-sex couples to apply).
Can we marry the day we obtain and submit our marriage license application?
Oregon has a three-day waiting period before a ceremony can take place after a license has been issued. However, this waiting period may be waived by a county clerk for “good cause,” and some counties charge a $5 to $20 waiver fee. Click here to see a full list of marriage policies for each county. In Multnomah County, Oregon United for Marriage is planning to host a venue in Portland on the first day same-sex couples are able to wed. We’ll have officiants, photographers, and flowers on hand to make this historic day a special one for you and the person you love.
How long does the marriage license stay valid?
Licenses are valid for 60 days after they are issued. You must get married within 60 day or you will have to reapply and pay the fees associated with the application process
The online application for a marriage license asks us to declare the date we plan to marry. What if we don’t know exactly what date?
Marriage license applications must be received within 60 days of your ceremony. You will have to pick a date when you use the online form that is within 60 days of the date you fill out the application. Oregon has a three-day waiting period before a ceremony can take place after a license has been issued. However, this waiting period may be waived by a county clerk for “good cause,” and some counties charge a $5 to $20 waiver fee. Click here to see a full list of marriage policies for each county.
What identification will we need to provide the County Clerk?
Both parties must have valid picture I.D. in the name that is entered on the marriage license application.
How much does it cost? Can I pay with a credit card?
The fee for an Oregon Marriage license is $50 to $60 in cash or certified funds only; the amount varies by county. Remember, if you would like to get married the same day you submit your application for a marriage license, you will need to ask for a waiver of Oregon’s three-day waiting period. Many (but not all) counties allow for a waiver, but there is an additional waiver fee in some counties. The fee varies by county from $5-$20 and again, in cash. Click here to see a full list of marriage policies for each county.
Can I get a license in a different county than where I live?
The license can be issued by any county in the State of Oregon, regardless of where you or your partner reside. However, after you are married, the paperwork must be submitted to the county that issued the license.
Do we both have to be present to receive a marriage license?
Yes. Whether you complete the marriage license application online or in the office, both parties must appear together in a county office to sign the license at the time it is issued. Both parties must have valid picture I.D. in the name that is entered on the marriage license application.
If we were married in another state or country, can we get married in Oregon?
No. If you were legally married in another state or jurisdiction, you cannot officially marry again in Oregon. It will not be considered legally valid. However, many couples may opt to renew their vows, and celebrate their marriage being fully respected here in Oregon.
What if the clerk at my county turns me away or is not ready to issue licenses to same-sex couples as soon as it is legal?
You can go to another Oregon County to get a license. We anticipate easy access in Portland via the Multnomah County Office and Eugene via the Lane County Office. Once marriage is legal for same-sex couples, we will update the county-by-county information here. Please contact us by clicking here if you encounter a problem or a delay so that we may keep our on-line info as up to date as possible.
If we have an Oregon Registered Domestic Partnership (ORDP), can we get married?
If you are marrying the same person that you are in an Oregon Registered Domestic Partnership with, then yes, you can get married. If you are in an Oregon Registered domestic Partnership with a different person (not the person you intend to marry now), you must dissolve the ORDP first
If we have an Oregon Registered Domestic Partnership (ORDP), will our Domestic Partnership automatically be converted into a marriage, like in Washington State?
We don’t know. This is an issue that will need to be addressed by the Oregon Legislature. There will likely not be clear resolution on this topic until June or possibly December 2015.
Do I have to be a resident of Oregon to get a marriage license in Oregon?
No, you not have to be a resident of Oregon to receive a marriage license. After the ceremony, your officiant completes their portion of the form, and it must be returned to the county that issued the license.
Who is qualified to officiate a ceremony?
A religious leader who is authorized by a religious congregation/organization. An Oregon judge. View a list of Multnomah County judges. An active Federal/Military judge.