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November 3rd, 2004 Zach Dundas | News Stories
 

Saving Social Security

(From gay marriage.)

     
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ANITA NEWCARD
When Jamie Jacques, neé Cook, went to Beaverton's Social Security office in mid-October to let the feds know she wanted to adopt her new husband's last name, she didn't expect problems. After all, since the couple's April nuptials, she'd already made the switch at the DMV and elsewhere.

Surprise!

Social Security's minions told Jacques that it couldn't accept her Multnomah County marriage license as proof of her name change. In fact, Social Security isn't buying any MultCo marriage certificates issued between March 3 and April 20 of this year.

During those seven weeks, the county issued marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples. The legality of those same-sex unions has been in dispute ever since, awaiting Tuesday's statewide vote on gay marriage.

According to Social Security regional spokeswoman Paula Jurich, Multnomah County's wedding license form makes it impossible to tell whether it belongs to a same-sex couple. So the agency decided no county licenses from gay marriage's brief Portland golden age can be considered kosher.

"I've been around for 30 years, and I can't remember anything like this," says Jurich, who adds four other counties around the country that licensed same-sex unions are in the same boat. She says people like Jacques, who got her license on April 19, can use other forms of ID to substantiate their name changes.

For their part, the Jacqueses contacted Multnomah County officials, who say they're working on resolving the situation. "At first, they said we could hire a lawyer," says the Northeast Portland newlywed. "And we were kind of like, 'Uh, why don't you guys hire a lawyer?'"

 
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