How Oregon Eloped

Gay couples in Massachusetts can legally marry next week. But they won't be the first. Here's how one county secretly changed the definition of marriage

You'll see gays kissing each other all week. Producers from the big networks will be in Massachusetts to broadcast what are billed as the first legal gay marriages in the U.S. But the stories won't be totally accurate: gay couples have already legally wed in the U.S., here in Oregon. In a little noticed decision last month, overshadowed by the news from Massachusetts (not to mention Iraq), Oregon Circuit Court Judge Frank Bearden ruled for the first time in U.S. history that a state must "accept and register" marriages of same-sex couples. In March and April, Multnomah County issued marriage licenses...

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