“In a new twist in the battle over same-sex marriage roiling the United States, a county in Oregon has banned all marriages — gay and heterosexual — until the state decides who can and who cannot wed.
The last marriage licenses were handed out in Benton County at 4 p.m. local time Tuesday [Mar. 23, 2004]. As of Wednesday, officials in the county of 79,000 people will begin telling couples applying for licenses to go elsewhere until the gay marriage debate is settled. ‘It may seem odd,’ Benton County Commissioner Linda Modrell told Reuters in a telephone interview, but ‘we need to treat everyone in our county equally.’
State Attorney General Hardy Myers said in a statement that he was ‘very pleased’ with Benton County’s decision. ‘It is my sincere hope that the legal process will provide clarity for each of Oregon’s counties.'”