SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Opponents of Oregon's new same-sex domestic partnership law failed to turn in enough valid signatures to block the measure, clearing the way for it to take effect next year, state elections officials said Monday.
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Oregon will join eight other states that have approved spousal rights in some form for gay couples — Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Maine, California, Washington and Hawaii. Massachusetts is the only state that allows gay couples to marry.
The Oregon measure covers benefits related to inheritance rights, child-rearing and custody, joint state tax filings, joint health, auto and homeowners insurance policies, visitation rights at hospitals and others. It does not affect federal benefits for married couples, including Social Security and joint filing of federal tax returns.
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Oregon has joined the brotherhood (is that the right word here?) of states (and commonwealths) that embrace some form of sanctioned gay union. Not to belittle the Garden State, but among the eight states, they seem like the least congruent fit. The only gay character on the Jersey state epic, The Sopranos, got killed for being gay. Maybe Governor McGreevy (the gay guy that admitted to being governor of NJ) may have softened them up a little. To this date, though, there is not much progress in states not touching an ocean. There’s not much else to say except that this is likely going to be a talking point for the 2008 presidential election. Our great hope is that the candidates can gloss over their personal preferences and leave it to the states to decide their course of action. Sorta like Fred Thompson’s plan, except he can’t be trusted, he’s from Hollywood.