Thursday, October 24, 2013

131.1 - Good News #1: Marriage justice advances in Oregon

Good News #1: Marriage justice advances in Oregon

Gabriel Heatter strikes again. Ah, there's good news tonight.

First, some news on the area where most of the good news comes these days - I suppose in some sense, too much because it means there's not a lot of good news on other fronts - but still, good news on this front: same-sex marriage.

First is the fact that there is movement on this in Oregon. For one thing, according to polls, opinion on the matter has improved enough that a group called Oregon United For Marriage is collecting signatures for a November 2014 ballot question intending to overturn the state's 2004 ban on same-sex marriage.

More immediately, in mid-October a lawsuit was filed in federal court, calling the ban unconstitutional. Both methods have worked in neighboring states: a referendum brought same-sex marriage to Washington while court action did so in California.

What's really notable, however, is that just two days after that suit was filed, Oregon’s chief operating officer Michael Jordan, acting on a decision from the Oregon Department of Justice, issued a memo stating that all state agencies are required to recognize the unions of same-sex couples who wed outside the state.

That is, same-sex couples still can't get married in Oregon, but if they get married somewhere else, the state will recognize those marriages as valid. It's what one commenter called "an interesting half-step toward marriage equality."


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