Clackamas County Clerk now officiates weddings; Expands recording and Elections Divisions office hours


June is wedding season and Clackamas County Clerk Catherine McMullen has brought civil services back to her office.

Clerk McMullen is permitted by Oregon Law to officiate weddings and is offering the service for the first time since the same-sex marriage ban was struck down in Oregon more than nine years ago.

On May 19, 2014, Sanford Fox and John Erich (see photo below), as well as Karin Power and Meg Elston (see photo below), were two of the first same-sex couples that visited the Clackamas County Recording Division to obtain a marriage license. Fox and Erich had waited almost two decades before being the first same-sex couple to get a marriage license in Clackamas County. In a message, Fox and Erich wrote:

“We chose to live in Clackamas County when we came to Oregon 20 years ago and have never regretted it. We love it here and, as the first same-sex couple to get a marriage license in the county, are honored to be a little piece of its history. Naturally we were disappointed at the decision in 2014 to stop performing marriages – not just for us, but for all the couples needlessly affected. We were married in Multnomah County – perfectly fine but not our home.

“The county’s resumption of marriages is a victory for equality, inclusivity and common sense. Especially at this time, we appreciate this step and the message it sends to all citizens. Clackamas County remains a great place to live!”

Clackamas County residents who wish to get married can follow the online step-by-step guide: How to Get a Marriage License. The process includes filling out an online application and then scheduling an appointment with the Recording Division to secure a marriage license. Both parties must appear together for the appointment. There is a $60 fee (cash/certified check/money order) for the license. There is a three-day waiting period before the license is active and then the couple has 60 days to have a ceremony performed anywhere in Oregon by a wedding officiant. Couples can waive the three-day waiting period if needed by paying an additional $15 (cash/certified check/money order).

If the couple would like the County Clerk to perform the civil ceremony that can be scheduled at that time. The fee for the civil ceremony is $117 (cash/certified check/money order). Ceremonies are currently being scheduled for Friday afternoons and take place at the Clerk’s Office at 1710 Red Soils Ct. in Oregon City.   

Clerk McMullen is honored to be able to add “Wedding Fridays” to her repertoire of services to the public. “My spouse and I got married in a simple civil ceremony before a judge at a county courthouse in Montana many years ago,” said McMullen. “To now be able to offer a similar affordable, respectful, and inclusive service to all couples — no matter who they love or what their religious beliefs are — is both gratifying and humbling.”  

Power and Elston were also one of the first to secure a marriage license from Clackamas County on May 19, 2014, becoming “paper official” after many years together and having had a commitment ceremony in 2010. The couple added:

“It is so important to have government work for everyone, which is why we're thrilled to see the Clerk's Office once again offering wedding services after a 10 year hiatus. Oregonians strongly support equal rights, and the day that we got married was among the happiest in our lives. Families like ours belong here and we're grateful to the County Clerk and staff for helping all Clackamas residents celebrate love and marriage.”

With the expanded services comes expanded hours to meet the business needs of residents. Both the Recording and Elections divisions of the County Clerk’s Office are now open Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Marriage license appointments can be made online at or by calling 503-655-8551. Document recording services stop at 4:30 p.m. each day. More information about elections and registering to vote can be found online at or by calling 503-655-8510. The Recording and Elections divisions are both located at 1710 Red Soils Ct. in Oregon City.   

Photos used with permission of the subjects:

Sanford Fox and John Erich

Sanford Fox and John Erich

Karin Power and Meg Elston

Karin Power and Meg Elston