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Oregon county bans ALL marriage

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
While I support same-sex marriage, this seems kind of odd to say the least. I cannot help but find this kind of funny.


PORTLAND, Oregon (Reuters) -- In a new twist in the battle over same-sex marriage roiling the United States, a county in Oregon has banned all marriages -- gay and heterosexual -- until the state decides who can and who cannot wed.

The last marriage licenses were handed out in Benton County at 4 p.m. local time (7:00 p.m. EST) Tuesday. As of Wednesday, officials in the county of 79,000 people will begin telling couples applying for licenses to go elsewhere until the gay marriage debate is settled.

"It may seem odd," Benton County Commissioner Linda Modrell told Reuters in a telephone interview, but "we need to treat everyone in our county equally."

State Attorney General Hardy Myers said in a statement that he was "very pleased" with Benton County's decision. "It is my sincere hope that the legal process will provide clarity for each of Oregon's counties."

The three County commissioners had originally decided to start handing out gay marriage licenses this week but on Monday reversed that decision amid a growing firestorm of lawsuits across the country, and decided instead to put a temporary halt to all marriages.

Rebekah Kassell, a spokeswoman for Basic Rights Oregon, a pro-gay marriage group, told Reuters; "It is certainly a different way for county commissioners to respect their constitutional obligation to apply the law equally to everyone.

"We appreciate that they are willing to say they are not going to participate in discrimination."

Tim Nashif, the spokesman for the Defense of Marriage Coalition, said; "Oregon not only has the only county in the nation issuing illegal (same-sex) marriage licenses, we probably have the only county in the nation refusing to issue marriage licenses at all."

"We are happy Benton County is not going to violate the law by issuing illegal marriage licenses, but we are perplexed as to why they would not issue legal licenses," he added.

Benton County, whose county seat is Corvallis, is home to Oregon State University and is seen as a bastion of liberalism.

Meanwhile, the American Civil Liberties Union said it would file a lawsuit Wednesday against Oregon or an unnamed state entity over the state's failure to register the more than 2,550 marriage licenses issued by Portland's Multnomah County to gay couples since March 3.

Multnomah County, the state's most populous, is the only jurisdiction in the United States that continues to issue same-sex marriage licenses. Local governments from San Francisco to New Paltz, New York, have halted the practice amid lawsuits and protests.
post #2 of 7
Whoa, isn't that a bit extreme??
post #3 of 7
Wouldn't that be somewhat... crazy?

Anyway, it is seeming a bit that Oregon could be the first state to have legal gay marriage.
post #4 of 7
What about people who already have weddings planned during this time? Can they go to another county to get their license? Or are their wedding plans ruined?

My husband & I got our marriage license 2 days before our wedding, to be signed on our wedding day. It's only good for a certain amount of time, so you have to get it right before your wedding date. I feel so sorry for all the people whose wedding plans this would be messing up - imagine paying for a wedding, planning it for a year or more, having relatives come from all over the country, and then not being able to get a license! I would be sooooo furious!

I understand the point they're trying to make, but I really think they're going to polarize people with this one, and it might backfire.
post #5 of 7
I think you're right, it may backfire. I would be upset too since marriage licenses expire after so long, but there is already a law allowing heterosexuals to be married so are they in a way violating their rights to be married? I mean, just because homosexuals don't have the go ahead for their unions or whatever you want to call it, doesnt mean heterosexual couples should have to suffer along with them.
post #6 of 7
I almost fell off my chair I was laughing so hard! WAY TO GO BENTON COUNTY!! This will get the congress men off their butts to make a decision!!!

The people that want to get married just have to go to another county to get their license. Its good in the entire state. I'm not sure how large the counties are in Oregon. Here in NJ, its less than 40 minutes to the next county courthouse
post #7 of 7
Separate but equal HA! Good for you Oregon! New York needs to get with it too!
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