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FAQs: Same-Sex Marriages

Marriage Update

The U.S. District Court has issued an order requiring same-sex marriage be allowed in Oregon effective May 19, 2014.


When will the county marriage offices get the new forms?

The State Registrar will immediately provide paper copies to county marriage offices and request that the electronic marriage form be made available.


Can the new marriage forms be used before the effective date set by the Judge?

No. The new form goes into effect on the date set by the Judge. The State Registrar will immediately provide paper copies to county marriage offices and request that the electronic marriage form be made available.


Can the county marriage offices continue to use the old forms?

Any marriage licenses issued prior to the effective date must be on the current Application, License and Record of Marriage form (45-4).

Marriage licenses issued on the old form (paper form revision date 01/12) by the county after the effective date set by the court will not be accepted by the Oregon Vital Records.


What are the major changes in the form?

There are two significant changes in the form.

  • Previously, applicants were either “bride” or “groom.” The new form designates “Party A” and “Party B.” Applicants can choose whether they want to be identified as “bride,” “groom” or “spouse.”
  • The term “maiden name” will no longer be used. Instead, both applicants will state their “name at birth.”

Will Oregon Registered Domestic Partnerships (ORDP) still be an option?

Yes. ORDPs are established in separate law and will continue to be an option for same sex couples until the law is changed.


If partners currently in an ORDP want to get married (to the same person), can they?

Yes. We anticipate that a dissolution of the ORDP will not be required if the partners want to be married.


What if a person is currently in an ORDP and wants to marry someone other than their partner?

Dissolution of the ORDP must occur before either partner could marry someone else.


If a couple is legally married in another state, should they also get married in Oregon (to the same person)?

No. Oregon already recognizes marriages between same sex couples occurring in states that allow same sex marriages. There is no benefit to being married (again) in Oregon.


The new form has checkboxes for Bride, Groom, or Spouse. What is this for? Can it be left blank?

The new form allows each party to decide what title they would like to use. These titles will not affect the marriage. These items can be left blank.


What about the commemorative form? Is it going to be changed too?

ORS 106.165 authorizes the county clerk to prescribe the commemorative marriage certificate. Each county clerk should determine what modifications are needed for the commemorative form.


Multnomah County allowed same sex marriages in 2004 and those marriages were voided by court order. Will those marriages be reinstated (will those couples be considered legally married)?

No, those marriages remain voided. Any couple would need to marry after the court decision recognizing same sex marriages to be considered legally married.