With only days left before Oregon was due to process the 3,000 “marriage’ licenses that were issued to gays and lesbians earlier in the year, the state Court of Appeals ordered a temporary halt, June 2, 2004.
The decision came following the state lawyers’ augments that none of the 3,022 licenses should be registered while a lawsuit on same-sex marriage is on appeal. While the lawyers for same-sex couples who sued the state over the right to “marry” in March and April plan to appeal the temporary halt, their case will not be heard before the original deadline to register the licenses.
The ruling from the court of appeals follows an April decision by Multnomah County Circuit Judge Frank L. Bearden, who ordered the state to process the thousands of licenses already issued on the grounds that Oregon’s existing marriage laws violated the state constitutional rights of gay and lesbian couples. However, Bearden added that the county had to stop issuing the licenses pending action by the Legislature or state courts.
Currently several lawsuits are underway to block the registration of the already-issued licenses.