Dallas Voice (Dallas, Tex.), Vol. 20, No. 45, Ed. 1 Friday, March 12, 2004 Page: 19 of 72
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denies request or
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The latest legal
action attempting to halt gay marriages in
Portland, Ore., came to an end Monday when a
Multnomah County judge declined to issue a
temporary restraining order.
Presiding Judge Dale Koch denied the request
yesterday after hearing arguments from a coali-
tion of church leaders and conservative politi-
Koch's ruling is just the first step in what is
expected to be a lengthy case over Multnomah
County's: decision last week to issue marriage
licenses to same-sex couples.
Kelly Clark, the attorney for the Defense of
Marriage Coalition, had alleged in a lawsuit filed
last week that county commissioners violated
laws regarding public meetings.
The ruling yesterday only covered this limited
topic. The court did not rule on the legality of
same-sex marriage under Oregon laws and the
At the county building where dozens of gay
couples were waiting for marriage licenses,
cheers rang out when news arrived that a judge
had upheld gay marriages.
Some had raced to buy rings, sign prenuptial
agreements and get to the county building early
— fearing the judge would block same-sex mar-
riage less than a week after it began in Oregon.
Jerry Wyley and his partner Ron Liekum were
in the line for marriage licenses yesterday.
Wyley said he was thrilled by the large turnout,
even days after the first gay marriage licenses
were issued — and happy gay couples would
have at least another day or two to sign up.
After hosting wedding ceremonies for hun-
dreds of same-sex couples last week, Basic
Rights Oregon is hosting five more days of wed-
dings this week.
The plan to host more weddings came in
response to overwhelming demand from couples
contacting the Basic Rights Oregon office.
Basic Rights Oregon executive director Roy
Thorpe says some of the couples have been wait-
ing more than 30 years to get married.
Thorpe decided to host more ceremonies
because she didn't want any couple to have to
wait any longer. Last week, Thorpe applauded
Multnomah County for recognizing the right of
same-sex couples to enter into marriage.
Thorpe says all Oregon couples — including
gay and lesbian couples —deserve the full pro-
tection and rights only recognized through civil
Judge Koch says his ruling was based on lack
of evidence that county commissioners violated
open meetings laws.
That was the basis for the challenge to the
state's first jurisdiction to issue gay marriage
Koch says he decided against issuing a tempo-
rary restraining order to stop the marriages
because opponents had not shown the county
officials had violated any laws.
He says opponents of gay marriage would
likely lose at trial in their argument about open
meetings — so he could not issue a restraining
order in the meantime.
County commissioners have maintained all
along they did not violate the open meeting laws
— and greeted Koch's decision Monday.
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Vercher, Dennis. Dallas Voice (Dallas, Tex.), Vol. 20, No. 45, Ed. 1 Friday, March 12, 2004, newspaper, March 12, 2004; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth238885/m1/19/: accessed August 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Special Collections.