April 14, 2005

Sad news from Oregon.

The Oregon Supreme Court has issued its long-awaited ruling on the validity of the same-sex marriages performed in Multnomah County last year. In a move that will cheer the right-wing oponents of equal rights for lesbians and gay men, the Oregon Supremes tossed out the marriages performed in Multnomah County. They also overturned a lower-court ruling that ordered the legislature to craft a law allowing civil unions for same-sex couples.

We couldn't say for sure how today's court ruling will affect the fate of the civil union bill announced by Gov. Ted Kulongoski yesterday, but we doubt that the Supremes have made the task of getting the bill through the legislature any easier. (If passed, that bill would also add sexual orientation Oregon's existing anti-discrimination legislation.)

This Oregon Supreme Court ruling strikes very close to home for this magpie, as it was just over a year ago that we stood in rain for hours with our housemates Miriam and Sunny, as they waited in line to get a marriage license. They were married later that same day.

Happier days
Sunny and Miriam in happier days [Photo: Magpie]

As of this morning, they're no longer married.

We have a much longer post on this subject (including excerpts from the Oregon Supreme Court's ruling) at Magpie. You'll find that post here.

You can read the full text of the Oregon Supreme Court's decision here.

Posted by Magpie at April 14, 2005 09:52 AM | GLBT | TrackBack(1) | Technorati links |

My heart goes out to your friends.

If it means anything, this old pagan (and the Deity he reveres) consider them joined in holy matrimony.

The longer we allow this separation of sanity from reality, the more painful it will be to get back to that reality.

The war is coming. It won't be pretty and will not be televised.

Posted by: David Aquarius at April 14, 2005 10:27 AM

My (perhaps overly optimistic) sense is that the ruling will make civil unions EASIER to pass, not harder. At least in the short term, this lays to rest the possibility of gay marriage in Oregon, and in a compensatory political move, civil unions will be a way to make everyone happy by making no one happy.

I make some comments on the ruling at Also Also, here:

Sorry about your housemates. Just remember Joni Mitchell: "We don't need no piece of paper from the City Hall, keeping us tied and true..."

Posted by: torridjoe at April 14, 2005 10:31 AM

Aren't they just trying to cram the toothpaste back into the tube? The coming generational shift will see opposition to same-sex marriage fade into oblivion.

Posted by: Donny at April 14, 2005 11:09 AM

Yeah, they just unmarried my brother too. :(

Posted by: Jacqueline at April 14, 2005 11:20 AM

Thanks for the sympathy dear readers. As an out dyke of 30 years you'd think I'd have a tougher skin and be able to take things like this better -- but it just feels like someone punched me in the gut.

We too feel still fully married in our hearts -- but that doesn't help w/rights.

One friend of mine had an interesting thought about it all -- she has fantasies of taking the first divorcee who wants to remarry to court -- after all it says "one man and one women" It doesn't say one at a time!

Posted by: Miriam at April 14, 2005 06:39 PM

Everyone who got 'unmarried' has my condolences, but I share in David's sentiment above. If they have that kind of commitment to each other, I'd recognize them as married even if the government doesn't. Unfortunately, I can't give them visitation rights and survivor benefits.

Still, it does me proud to know that the defenders of marriage have kept the institution safe for Britney Spears and the 'Who wants to marry a [stereotype]' reality shows. That just warms the cockles of my heart.

Posted by: natasha at April 14, 2005 09:53 PM

Ditto - for what it's worth, I consider all of them still married. Legally, that doesn't make much sense, but morally it's quite obvious.

Well, more work for all of us to do, so we can ensure those rights.

Posted by: Dan S. at April 16, 2005 12:20 PM