Oregon to recognize out-of-state gay marriages

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- Although it's still illegal for same-sex couples to marry in Oregon, the state is now recognizing the marriages of those who tie the knot in another state or country.

In a memo sent to state agencies Wednesday, state Chief Operating Officer Michael Jordan said any same-sex couple who gets married in a place where it is legal will now be eligible for the same benefits as any other married couple.

Jordan's decision, first reported by the Willamette Week newspaper, was based on a legal opinion from the Oregon Department of Justice.

An initiative to overturn the state's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage will be on the 2014 ballot.