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Oregon Court
Rejects Suit Against Domestic Partnerships

Oregon Court
Rejects Suit Against Domestic Partnerships

Oregon residents will not vote on domestic-partnership rights for gay and lesbian couples in this fall's election, Portland's TheOregonian reported Friday.

Oregon residents will not vote on domestic partner rights for gay and lesbian couples in this fall's election, Portland's TheOregonian reported Friday. The ninth U.S. circuit court of appeals rejected a lawsuit challenging the state's domestic-partnership laws, which were enacted in February. Opponents attempted to place a referendum on domestic partnerships on the ballot in 2007, but they were unable to collect enough signatures. Out-of-state groups behind the effort filed suit in federal court, claiming Oregon election officials should have changed the rules to reconsider previously rejected signatures, according to Basic Rights Oregon.

"The judges clearly understood the issues at stake in this case when they rejected the plaintiffs' demand for special treatment," Basic Rights Oregon attorney Margaret Olney told TheOregonian. "The out-of-state groups behind this lawsuit failed to meet the minimum standards of public support for their unpopular agenda last year. The court is saying unequivocally: You can't change the rules just because you don't like the outcome."

Marilyn Shannon, a former Republican lawmaker who is heading the fight against domestic partnerships, told The Oregonian that the court's decision will only make the opposition stronger.

"The courts are not friendly to traditional values," she said.

More than 2,200 same-sex couples have registered their domestic partnerships since the law took effect. Registered couples have rights such as hospital visitation, making medical decisions for their partners, and making property and inheritance resolutions. (The Advocate)

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