Oregon's Top Court Annuls 3,000 Gay Marriages
Thu Apr 14, 2005 05:23 PM ET
SALEM, Ore. (Reuters) - Oregon's Supreme Court on Thursday invalidated 3,00=
marriage licenses issued to same-sex couples last year, saying they were
The court said Multnomah County, Oregon's largest county that includes
Portland, violated the state constitution's definition of marriage as a
union between a man and a woman.
Support for allowing gay weddings has touched off a national debate and
prompted President Bush to call for a constitutional ban on same-sex
Oregon's Supreme Court said in its ruling that the licenses issued in
left-leaning Multnomah County "were issued without authority and were void
at the time they were issued."
In San Francisco, more than 4,000 gay couples were married during a
month-long period a year ago until the courts brought them to a halt. The
California Supreme Court ultimately ruled that those marriages, too, were
In November, Oregon, like 10 other states, rejected a change to the state
constitution that would have permitted gay marriage.
On Wednesday, a bipartisan bill introduced in Oregon's Legislature backed b=
Democratic Gov. Ted Kulongoski, called for gay and lesbian couples to have
marriage-like rights in the form of civil unions.