Now that Oregon has declared that it will recognize same-sex marriages from other states, gay lesbian couples in Portland are crossing the border in large numbers to marry in southern Washington.
The Columbian reports:
Portlanders Grant Edwards and Jim McPartland “waited and waited” to get married. They’d been living together for seven years. They wanted the world to know about their solid commitment. The only obstacle was a maddeningly simple one: according to state law that’s been affirmed by popular referendum, you can’t get married in Oregon if you’re gay. In late October, Edwards and McPartland stopped waiting. Jim has suffered some health scares recently, and the couple want to be sure Grant has no problem holding his beloved’s hand during any future hospital stay. So they went ahead and got their wedding license — in Clark County…
“We just think it’s crazy that we have to go to the state of Washington and legally get married, and now Oregon will recognize that marriage. And yet, gay Oregonians cannot get married in their own churches and have that recognized by the state. That is some bizarre law,” McPartland said. Bizarre or just businesslike, the new legal loophole amounts to a bistate bridge that’s carrying loads of same-sex couples across the border from hoping to hitched. Clark County marriage license applications jumped by nearly 50 percent in the 12 business days after Oregon’s Oct. 18 legal decision, according to a hand count by The Columbian. Two-thirds of all licenses after that day were for same-sex couples and 90 percent of those were from out of state — the vast majority from Oregon.
By the time Oregon gets around to voting on marriage equality next November, there may not be any same-sex couples left to marry!
Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Oregon.