Clackamas County Clerk officiates weddings again for first time in 9 years

On May 19, 2014, Oregon’s same-sex marriage ban was struck down by a federal judge, and then-clerk Sherry Hall stopped officiating all weddings.
Published: Jun. 17, 2023 at 11:03 PM PDT
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CLACKAMAS COUNTY Ore. (KPTV) - Nine years after becoming what they call “paper official” - Megan Elston and Karin Power returned on Saturday to the Clackamas County Clerk’s Office with their kids Grady and Finn.

“It was extremely exciting,” Elston said.

“And happening simultaneously all over the state, yeah. So, it felt like we were part of something big,” Power said.

On May 19, 2014, Elston and Power were one of the first two couples to get their marriage license from the Clackamas County Clerk’s Office. That was the day Oregon’s same-sex marriage ban was struck down by a federal judge.

At the same time, then-clerk Sherry Hall stopped officiating weddings all together.

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Power and Elston already had a commitment ceremony back east, then tied the knot here in Oregon again with help from another official.

“Actually, the Mayor of Milwaukie officiated our wedding in our backyard then. So, it was really sweet. He was really excited to perform and officiate weddings in his official capacity,” Power said.

Fast forward to Saturday and the new Clackamas County Clerk, Catherine McMullen, is bringing the option back to the community for anyone who wants to get married at her office, including gay couples.

“It’s really time that we catch up and provide those services here. You know, not being the first to provide services to all couples, including same-sex couples, but making sure we’re filling in those holes of injustice and inequality.”

Soon, a room in the clerk’s office will be a place people can say ‘I do’ quickly and affordably. McMullen is now carving out time each week for ceremonies, dubbing those days ‘Wedding Fridays.’

“Fridays is a great day to get married. A lot of people don’t have work the next day, you can come in, you can actually get your marriage application, pay the fee to waive the waiting period and get married all within about an hour,” she said.

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Someone has already made an appointment for early next month, which will be McMullen’s first time officiating.

“I’m honored, but also a little anxious,” she said. “I’m not the reason for all this, like I’m just here to enable and facilitate and create the space for this to happen.”

The fee for the civil ceremony is $117.

If you’re interested in getting married at the Clackamas County Clerk’s Office, you can head to their website at