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Feb-01-2008 21:25printcomments

Federal Court Rules Oregon's Domestic Partnership Law To Take Effect Immediately

Committed, Caring Couples Throughout Oregon Will Get Rights, Protections

Image courtesy: Basic Rights Oregon

(SALEM, Ore.) - A federal court has ruled that Oregon’s domestic partnership law should go into effect, as it was originally scheduled to do on January 2nd, 2008.

"We won this case on the merits," said Jeana Frazzini, Executive Director of Basic Rights Oregon. "But the real winners today are the thousands of caring, committed couples who will have access to the rights and responsibilities of domestic partnership." Basic Rights Oregon had intervened in the case to assist the state in defending the law.

Judge Michael Mosman ruled at 4:25 PM today that opponents of domestic partnership did, indeed, fail to gather the necessary signatures to place the law on the ballot for referendum.

"Today the court validated what we’ve known all along - that the support for domestic partnerships in Oregon is strong, and these out-of-state anti-gay groups were trying to cheat Oregon’s election system because they failed," said Frazzini.

The law takes effect immediately, so county offices will begin to issue domestic partnerships on Monday morning at 9:00 AM. While domestic partnerships fall short of full marriage rights, they do provide important protections like hospital visitation rights, the ability to make medical decisions for an ailing partner, and estate inheritance.

"These rights are so basic, yet they have been denied to thousands of Oregon couples like my partner and me, who are willing to make a commitment to each other and do the hard work of a long-term relationship. It’s time for basic fairness for all Oregon couples," said Representative Tina Kotek (D-N/NE Portland).

Today’s ruling, however, is not likely to bring a close to the battle. The Arizona-based Alliance Defense Fund, a right-wing group who files anti-gay and anti-choice lawsuits around the country and who filed the Oregon suit, has said they will appeal the ruling.

"It’s too bad that these out-of-state groups are so determined and desperate to undermine equality in Oregon,” said Frazzini. “But we will continue to prevail because Oregonians don’t share their narrow-minded views. Oregonians support domestic partnerships and want to see all families protected."

Source: Basic Rights Oregon

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Neal Feldman February 4, 2008 1:48 am (Pacific time)

kimoco - quite true. Ah well...

kimoco February 3, 2008 10:17 am (Pacific time)

I am glad to hear that my neighbors in Oregon are moving in the right direction, and the bigots are losing. Folks, it is not a matter of IF we get equal protections, it is a matter of when. Those who wish to deny equal rights need to get used to this idea.

Neal Feldman February 2, 2008 3:40 am (Pacific time)

As usual the bigots sought more special rights for themselves... the special right, in this case, to be treated differently than every other referendum or initiative petitioner. And it was ludicrous because they already were lucky as hell with the sample which gave them what must have been the record all time high legitimacy rate of any petition ever considering the tiny number of extra signatures the submitted. They just have their undies in a bunch because they missed narrowly. Poor babies. But they have wasted so much time on this that even if they try and go the initiative route it is unlikely they would even make it to the 2008 ballot as they would have all the title appeals etc plus the larger number of sigs needed. And the longer the law is in effect the more their position loses credibility as everyone can see that the word did not end because of the laws regardless of the doomsayers of the homophobic brigades. Ah well...

Neal Feldman February 2, 2008 3:33 am (Pacific time)

About time. It was a shame that these folks were forced to wait an extra month without their equal rights for this farce. I would love to see BRO organize a massive class action lawsuit against this out of state group for their frivolous lawsuit that caused great harm. Rights delayed are rights denied and that is harm. But at least it is now as it should be. The bigots still squawk and threaten to get on the ballot. Let them. The OCA never once passed even one of their anti-gay statewide measures and M36 only passed because it specifically did NOT block civil unions/domestic partnerships. The polls clearly show 65-75+% support for SB2 and HB2007 so even if they get it on the ballot the voters will have an 8 month track record showing the world did not end and they might get beaten by 4 to one or maybe even up to 10 to 1 showing exactly hoe unsupported their bigotry is. Maybe then they will shut up and stop promoting their bigotry. But that is unlikely. Bigoted zealots like that never shut up unfortunately. Ah well...

Ke'li February 2, 2008 3:02 am (Pacific time)

Hip, hip, hooray!

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