Meet gay couples who married after Ore. ban overturned

Credit: Pat Dooris, KGW Staff

Meet gay couples who married after Ore. ban overturned


by KGW Staff

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Posted on May 20, 2014 at 5:33 AM

Updated Tuesday, May 20 at 6:13 AM

What do you think of Monday's ruling on gay marriage

PORTLAND – Couples lined up outside Portland metro area courthouses Monday started getting their marriage licenses just after noon, when U.S. District Judge Michael McShane ruled an Oregon ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional.

Officials in Multnomah, Clackamas and Washington counties were prepared to begin issuing the licenses immediately following the ruling. Click for the full text of the ruling (PDF)

“I’m not worried or concerned or nervous about it,” said Shilpi Banerjee, who had lined up with her partner outside Multnomah County headquarters early Monday morning. “It’s just an idea whose time has come.”

When the ruling was issued, they got their license within minutes. They planned to have a ceremony Monday evening.

Another couple, Janine Nelson and Deanna Geiger (pictured, above), got married immediately after their license was issued. They were the first same sex-couple married in Oregon since the ban took effect in 2004.

Portland's Melody Ballroom was hosting marriage ceremonies throughout the day and estimated at least 20 couples had been married there by 3:30 p.m. The ballroom was scheduled to close at 9 p.m., but offered to stay open as long as there were people waiting to get married.

Background: Ore. judge strikes down gay marriage ban

Monday’s ruling was 10 years in the making; Oregon voters in 2004 approved an amendment to define marriage as between one man and one woman.

In 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the federal Defense of Marriage Act. Later that year, two same-sex couples filed a lawsuit challenging Oregon's gay marriage ban.

Just last week, McShane denied a request from the National Organization for Marriage to intervene in the lawsuit. Monday morning he denied the group's motion to stay the decision.

More: Group can’t defend Oregon gay marriage ban

Marriage licenses are available at the Multnomah County building every day, from 9 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. There is usually a three-day waiting period for the licenses, but the county has offered to waive the waiting period on Monday, for a $5 fee.

Interactive: Nationwide gay marriage laws


KGW reporter Ashley Korslien contributed to this report