Blog of Rights

Marriage Matters to Us

By Chris Tanner at 3:20pm

Ten years ago in March, Lisa and I were first in line when Multnomah County issued marriage licenses to same-sex couples. We married immediately in our church, with our ministers, blessed with the presence of friends.

Ten years ago in November, voters approved Measure 36, an amendment to our state constitution denying the freedom to marry to Oregon's same-sex couples. Shortly thereafter, the Oregon Supreme Court ruled our marriage invalid.

Lisa and I took down the framed marriage license from our wall.

Much has changed over the last decade. A majority of Americans now support the freedom to marry, including 55 percent of Oregon voters. In 17 states and D.C., all loving couples can marry, and Oregon now recognizes those out of state marriages. But I still cannot legally marry Lisa in the state we call home.

We want to get married because we have loved and cared for each other for over 30 years; we have raised two wonderful children together; and because marriage is an important milestone for us.

Today, the ACLU is in federal court in Oregon to fight for the principle that no one should be subjected to discrimination merely because of who they are and who they love. Our opponents are trying to slow down or stop the march toward freedom, but the ACLU is there fighting for all of us – and I am proud that Lisa and I are part of this court case fighting for our family. And, though it has been a long journey, history is on our side.

Learn more about same-sex marriage and other civil liberty issues: Sign up for breaking news alertsfollow us on Twitter, and like us on Facebook.

Help protect our fundamental freedoms. Donate to the ACLU.
Statistics image