Academic journal article Oregon Historical Quarterly

Multnomah County Wedding Album Project Records, 2004-2005

Academic journal article Oregon Historical Quarterly

Multnomah County Wedding Album Project Records, 2004-2005

Article excerpt

Beginning March 2, 2004, Multnomah County, Oregon (which includes the city of Portland), began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. County Chair Diane Linn made the decision after concluding that state law violated the Oregon Constitution's guarantee of equal treatment. This became a historic and controversial decision both locally and nationally and was seen as part of the larger national debate regarding gay marriage.

Immediately following the decision, opponents of same-sex marriage began to draft a lawsuit to halt the issuance of licenses. They started to gather support for what became Measure 36, a constitutional amendment limiting the definition of marriage to the union between a man and a woman. Oregon's governor ordered the state not to recognize the marriages, which prompted a lawsuit. On April 20, 2004, the County was ordered by a judge to discontinue the issuance of licenses to same-sex couples and a year later, in April 2005, the Oregon Supreme Court voided licenses that had already been issued. The Court unanimously ruled that Multnomah County had no authority to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

The Wedding Album Project records consist of a variety of items submitted to Multnomah County in March 2005 for the 2004 Wedding Album project. Items include photographs, letters, marriage certificates, mementos, newspaper clippings, and other written materials documenting the events leading up to and following the contributing couples receiving their marriage certificates from the county. …

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