Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)


Social Work




Marriage law -- Oregon



Physical Description

1 online resource (10, ii, 45, [5] leaves, 28 cm.)


According to the Oregon Marriage statute an applicant for a marriage license must present a physician's statement that he is free from certain mental and physical conditions. When the examining physician is not satisfied that the applicant is free from these conditions, the applicant is referred to the Committee of Three, a special standing committee appointed by the Board of Social Protection for determining whether or not a license to marry should be granted.

In the spring of 1970 such a situation was referred to the committee for its consideration. As a result of the committee's involvement with this applicant, the question of enforceability of the current physical mental prerequisites to marriage became a concern. The committee noted that no specific definition of the individual categories was included in the statutes that could be applied objectively to the committee in determining an applicant's fitness to marry.

In an attempt to clarify these areas the committee and its parent group, the Board of Social Protection, determined to investigate marriage laws of other states seeking more valid (and/or realistic) definitions of physical and mental prerequisites to marriage. After making preliminary inquiries it was realized that a more comprehensive study and evaluation were required. A study of this nature, however, required considerable time and expense, neither of which were available under the existing program structure.

It was at this point that we four students from the School of Social Work became interested in the possibility of working with the Board of Social Protection in this endeavor. Both to meet the research requirement of the School of Social Work and to provide pertinent information to the Board an informal contract was formulated between us and Dr. Edward Press, State Health Officer, who serves as Secretary of the Board of Social Protection. We were requested to research and propose an enforceable marriage law to the Board which might be presented to the Oregon State Legislature for consideration.


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"A practicum submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Social Work, Portland State University."

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