CANYON CITY – A Mt. Vernon couple last week became the first to take out a license for a same-sex marriage in Grant County.
Terry Hanson and Carla Schroder filled out the license form last Friday at the Grant County Courthouse.
County Clerk Brenda Percy said she’s had a couple of domestic partnerships filed in her office, but this was the first for a same-sex marriage.
Same-sex marriage has been legally recognized in Oregon since May 2014.
Hanson and Schroder are planning a March 28 wedding at the Mt. Vernon Community Hall, with Sam Walker conducting the ceremony.
The institution of marriage has long been denied to them – along with rights that married couples take for granted, they said.
“There’s over 1,500 individual benefits and rights that heterosexual people have always had, without thinking about it,” Hanson noted.
She and Schroder say some of the important ones for them include qualifying for spousal benefits, being able to make medical decisions for one’s spouse, and automatic inheritances.
They don’t expect marriage to mean major changes in their daily life. Hanson is a driver for the People Mover and an interactive media technology assistant for Blue Mountain Community College, and Schroder is an author.
Schroder notes there’s a psychological lift from “making it legal,” and she quips, “You only get married for the first time, once.”
While they are the first to take that step in Grant County, they don’t expect to be the last.
“Hopefully, this will allow some other people who have held back to be more comfortable with the idea,” Hanson said.