EUGENE, Ore. — Not often do you get to be present as people get their marriage licenses and tie the knot, but Monday there were many of those moments.
Lynn Lary and Therese Bauer started their day anxiously waiting on the steps of the federal courthouse. The couple of five years was wondering if Monday would be the day they could say “I do.”
“It’s exciting. It is just time for everyone to be equal, and we never would have dreamed that this would have been possible,” said Bauer.
A little after noon, the word was out. Same-sex marriages could now be legally recognized in the state of Oregon.
“A little overwhelmed right now…We are going to the courthouse. We are going to get first in line,” Lary said.
With that they were off, hand in hand, in pursuit of a piece of paper they never thought possible. Once in line, the reality of what Lary and Bauer were about to do started to set in.
“I feel excited and giddy and happy, and I get to do this with you,” said Bauer.
The couple waited alongside a number of others and learned Lane County Judge Cynthia Carlson was offering to perform ceremonies.
“We could do it on the Free Speech terrace outside,” Judge Carlson said.
Then it was time, a walk to remember. Within minutes, a marriage certificate for eternity.
“A signing certificate; you guys will get to sign this today,” Judge Carlson said.
The couple was then met with cheers as they made their way to Free Speech Plaza, a place to honor freedoms, fitting for an historic ceremony.
“I, Lynne, choose you, Therese, to be your life partner,” Lary said. “To love and to cherish and to be faithful to you alone.”
And with that, they wed.
“By the power vested in me by the state of Oregon, I declare you married and partners for life,” Judge Carlson said.
It’s a moment the couple never thought possible.
“The judge made the right decision, and it’s changing people’s lives today. To see all the happy people here today who have been together 30 years, and they get to do this in my home state. It just warms my heart,” Bauer said.
Lary and Bauer, as well as a number of other couples, were able to avoid the Oregon three-day waiting period because they paid $10 to have it waived by the county clerk.