Wednesday, January 2, 2008

OREGON'S DOMESTIC PARTNERSHIP LAW ON HOLD

When new national and state laws became effective on New Year’s Day, Oregon’s domestic partnership law wasn’t among them. The new law was intended to give some spousal rights to same-sex couples. On December 28, a federal judge placed a hold on the bill that was set to take effect January 1.

Opponents of the legislation asked U.S. District Judge Michael W. Mosman to intercede after the Oregon’s secretary of state’s office ruled in October there went enough valid signatures on a referendum to block the law. The ruling is in effect pending a February hearing.

Jeana Frazzini, a spokesperson for Basic Rights Oregon criticized the judge’s decision: “It’s unfair our families once again are bearing the brunt of this ongoing struggle.”

Candlelight vigils protesting Judge Mosman’s ruling are being held in cities around the state, including here in Bend this afternoon at 5:30.

Eight other states have approved some form of spousal rights for same-sex couples—Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Maine, California, Washington, Hawaii. Massachusetts remains the only state that allows couples to marry.

REFLECTIONS: How long will it take for spousal rights to be extended to same-sex couples? How many times must “how long” be asked? It must have seemed forever to those in the abolitionist movement of the 19th century, to those in the women’s suffrage movement in the 19th and 20th centuries, to those in the civil rights movement and the anti-war movement of the 20th century, and to those opposing the war in Iraq in the 21st century? They didn’t know and we don’t either. What they knew then and we know now, though, is that it is not simply a matter of waiting; persistent struggle is required to see that day come round.

- Milo

1 comment:

Milo said...

A hundred or so showed up for the vigil. We lit our candles against the darkness of denying equal rights to domestic partners.

Strange thing! There was not another person I knew present. Hmm... Either I don't know enough people in Bend, or the folks I know didn't show up.