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Federal Court Rules Oregon's Domestic Partnership Law To Take Effect ImmediatelySalem-News.com
Committed, Caring Couples Throughout Oregon Will Get Rights, Protections
(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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