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Marriage Equality Decision Day

Posted on May 19, 2014

For Immediate Release – Monday, May 19
Contacts: Peter Zuckerman, Press Secretary: 310-507-4689
Amy Ruiz, Deputy Campaign Manager: 503-929-1036
Get text updates: Text “LOVE” to 877-877

Marriage Equality Decision Day
What’s happening, how it happened, FAQs

WHAT’S NEWS: Federal Judge Michael McShane of Eugene plans to release an opinion about marriage equality today around noon, potentially granting gay and lesbian couples the freedom to marry in Oregon.

WHAT’S HAPPENING TODAY

In Portland:

    • 11 a.m.: Media can get set up at the Melody Ballroom. Special marriage celebration station for press will be set up where, depending on the ruling, couples will wed throughout the day. 615 S.E. Alder St., Portland, Ore. 97214.

  • 11:30 a.m.: A crowd of advocates are ready to be the first to hear what the judge has ruled on the case. The crowd will start forming at 11 a.m. Oregon United for Marriage Headquarters, 727 N.E. 24th Ave., Portland, Ore.

    • Around noon, but possibly slightly sooner or later: Release and reading of opinion to crowd of advocates. The moment the judge issues his opinion, we will read it out loud to the crowd. If the opinion is long, we will only read the highlights. Oregon United for Marriage Headquarters, 727 NE 24th Ave., Portland, Ore.

    • Immediately after that: Super short press conference. People involved with the case and the marriage movement will answer questions about what the ruling means. Oregon United for Marriage Headquarters, 727 NE 24th Ave., Portland, OR.

    • 12:30 p.m.: Exchange of vows at marriage celebration station. Depending outcome of the ruling, one of the first couples planning to marry will exchange vows with judge Beth Allen presiding. Melody Ballroom, 615 SE Alder St, Portland, OR 97214.

    • 12:30 to 10 p.m.: Couples, families and advocates gather and possibly celebrate and exchange vows. Depending on the outcome of the ruling, loving and committed couples may renew their vows, get married, celebrate or deliver the message Oregon is ready for marriage. Melody Ballroom, 615 SE Alder St, Portland, OR 97214.

  • 5 p.m.: Short speeches by equality advocates about what has happened, what it means. Melody Ballroom, 615 S.E. Alder St., Portland, Ore. 97214.

  • 6 p.m.: Short speeches by equality advocates about what has happened, what it means. Melody Ballroom, 615 S.E. Alder St., Portland, Ore. 97214.

 

In Eugene:

  • 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.: Couples, families and advocates gather; same-sex couples possibly marry. Depending on the outcome of the ruling, loving and committed couples may renew their vows, get married, celebrate or deliver the message Oregon is ready for marriage. Davis Restaurant, 94 W Broadway, Eugene, OR 97401.

HOW IT HAPPENED:

The campaign to win marriage for same-sex couples launched on Valentine’s Day last year. At the time, the only way to win marriage was through a vote of the people. Volunteers led the effort to collect 160,000 signatures, more than enough to qualify the Freedom to Marry and Religious Protection Initiative for the ballot.

Then in June of last year, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down key parts of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act, opening up a legal pathway to win the freedom to marry.

Attorneys filed two lawsuits in the federal court in Eugene to challenge laws that exclude same-sex couples from marriage in Oregon. The judge, Michael McShane, consolidated the two cases, rejected an effort by an anti-gay group from Washington DC to intervene in the case and on Monday issued his ruling.

The latest, independent polls show 58 percent of Oregonians support the freedom to marry, and more than 872 coalition members - including 385 businesses, 212 faith leaders, 68 elected leaders, 82 community organizations, 59 faith communitiess and 20 communities of color — have endorsed Oregon United for Marriage’s campaign to win marriage for same-sex couples.

FAQs

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.

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 on-line 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.

May 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, you do not need to marry again in Oregon. 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, 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, 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. An active Federal/Military judge.

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