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May-03-2007 05:50printcomments

Oregon Domestic Partnership Bill Heads to Governor's Desk

Governor Kulongoski has pledged to sign both pieces of legislation into law.

oregon capitol photo
Photo: Tim King

(SALEM) - On Wednesday, after one-and-a-half hours of debate on the Senate floor, The Oregon Family Fairness Act (House Bill 2007) passed with bipartisan support, 21-9.

House Bill 2007 will create a new statute in Oregon law, separate from Oregon's marriage statute, to provide same-sex couples with Domestic Partnerships.

These Domestic Partnerships provide Oregon's same-sex couples and their families with many important rights, responsibilities and protections under state law, currently only afforded through a marriage contract.

A Domestic Partnership differs substantially from marriage in several ways: its protections are not portable outside the boundaries of Oregon, it does not grant the over 1,100 rights available through marriage under federal law, and no solemnization is necessary as it is simply a civil contract.

Basic Rights Oregon's Interim Executive Director Aisling Coghlan said, "Today is without question a monumental day for not only Oregon, but for our nation. Oregonians know too well the value of being able to protect our families--and this bill directly reflects that deeply held pro-family belief. Basic Rights Oregon applauds the Senators who voted in favor of basic fairness for all Oregon families, a value very much in step with the majority of Oregonians. We should all be proud of this historic day."

She continued, "House Bill 2007 is not simply another piece of legislation, but a moral call that both the Senate and House have strongly answered and the Governor has pledged to meet."

After the vote, Senate President Peter Courtney said, "A lot of people worked very hard for a very long time for this day. Today, all of that work finally paid off as we achieve fairness for all Oregonians."

Senate Majority Leader Kate Brown proudly said, "Today thousands of Oregon families are one step closer to being able to access essential rights and responsibilities. Domestic Partnership offers same-sex couples and their families the protections that every Oregon family needs and deserves. For that I am very proud."

Basic Rights Oregon commends those from both parties who voted in favor of basic fairness for all Oregonians, and extends special appreciation to Senate President Peter Courtney, Senate Majority Leader Kate Brown, Senator Ginny Burdick, and Senator Brad Avakian for their outstanding leadership in ensuring passage of this historic step toward basic fairness for all Oregon families.

The Next Steps: House Bill 2007 and Senate Bill 2 (a statewide anti-discrimination law based on sexual orientation) will now be sent to Governor Kulongoski's desk for his signature.

Governor Kulongoski has pledged to sign both pieces of legislation into law.

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Hank Ruark May 3, 2007 12:57 pm (Pacific time)

Troy: You assume more organization for such matters than can exist, especially in Legislative surround like ours. There is always some hitch, if nothing more than conflict of time for those who MUST be "in the press photo". Then, too, sometimes there's more demanded than neatly filing papers on desk with pen. We're fortunate when they get as much done as they do, given that often political shenanigans overtakes proper conduct, from either side.

Troy May 3, 2007 10:12 am (Pacific time)

You know, I hear things like "will now be sent to Governor Kulongoski's desk for his signature" but nothing as to when that is going to happen. You would think the governor's office would have that kind of information given they plan his schedule in advance.

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