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Wed Apr 14, 2021, 05:49 PM

On this day, April 14, 2005, the Oregon Supreme Court nullified same-sex marriage licenses ...

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Local News | Local Politics

Oregon Supreme Court voids same-sex marriage licenses

Originally published April 14, 2005 at 12:00 am Updated April 14, 2005 at 6:01 pm

The Oregon Supreme Court today nullified nearly 3,000 marriage licenses issued to same-sex couples by Multnomah County a year ago, saying a single county couldn't take such action on its own.

By William McCall

PORTLAND, Ore. — The Oregon Supreme Court today nullified nearly 3,000 marriage licenses issued to same-sex couples by Multnomah County a year ago, saying a single county couldn’t take such action on its own.

The court said that, while the county can question the constitutionality of laws governing marriage, they are a matter of statewide concern so the county had no authority to issue licenses to gay couples.

The court noted that last November, Oregonians approved a constitutional amendment that limits marriages to a man and a woman. The court also said state law had already set the same limitation on marriages — a law dating back to the 19th century.

“Today, marriage in Oregon — an institution once limited to opposite-sex couples only by statute — now is so limited by the state Constitution as well,” the court ruling said. ... The court left the door open for state legislators to craft an alternative to gay marriages, such as civil unions — even though it did not specifically mention civil unions.

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