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Volume 35
Issue 18
 
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Oregon governor pledges to sign domestic partner legislation, anti-discrimination bill
Oregon governor pledges to sign domestic partner legislation, anti-discrimination bill
Governor Kulongoski to hold signing ceremony on Wednesday, May 9

SALEM, Oregon; Wednesday, May 2 -- Today, after about an hour and a half 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.

"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," said Basic Rights Oregon's Interim Executive Director Aisling.

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 added. "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. The Governor has pledged to sign both pieces of legislation into law.

Rights Oregon is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, statewide advocacy organization whose mission is to end discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in Oregon. For more information, please visit our website at www.basicrights.org.

A Basic Rights Oregon press release

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