Unofficial Marriages Held for Same-sex Couples at Oregon Church

ASHLAND, Ore. (AP) - Ministers at an Oregon church have
performed marriage ceremonies for five same-sex couples, even
though the state doesn't recognize the marriages as legal.

The Rev. Pam Shepherd and three other clergy members who
performed the ceremonies Saturday at the First Congregational United Church of Christ in Ashland have pledged not to sign marriage licenses for any couple, gay or straight, until they can sign the licenses for same-sex couples.

They say they'll let the state worry about the civil side of the religious ceremonies they hold.

One of the lesbian couples that was wed Saturday says the ceremony was as much about their commitment to God, their communities and each other as it was about making a political statement.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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