Initiative filed to repeal Domestic Partnerships

By Debra Porta of Portland, Oregon. Debra describes herself as "a Texas transplant and non-traditional college student".

It's not often that I get really angry. It takes a lot. It takes reading something like the fact that Oregon legislators (Oregon State Senator Fred Girod and State Rep. Sal Esquivel, both Republicans) in Salem have filed a petition to repeal Oregon's Domestic Partnership Law.

Basic Rights Oregon's Jeana Frazzini had this to say:

“They have said all along that they would file again,” Frazzini said. “While I’m not surprised that an initiative to repeal the laws been filed, I’m shocked that this effort has been spearheaded by legislators whose duty is to protect Oregonians.”

Although I have no doubt that out-of-state interests are still bankrolling this effort, it is no longer easy to say that it's all about outside interferance. Sitting legislators, who pledge to protect all Oregonians have filed this. The Oregon GOP can no longer insult my intelligence by claiming not to be a part of the extremist take over of the national party.

The fact that this was filed on Friday and the only place I've heard about it from is Basic Rights Oregon tells me a lot, as well. Where's the coverage?

I've never had rose-colored glasses on, so I knew this fight wasn't over, but I wasn't expecting Oregon legislators to be leading the extremist charge. Live and learn. And Fight.

Comments

  • (Show?)

    This is an outrage and we will fight it with all we have.

    This is also a reminder that until we have equal access to civil marriage for all families, same sex couples will not be adequately protected.

  • LT (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Don't forget, those legislators are up for election and if they don't have opponents people have until March 11 to find opponents.

  • r. james (unverified)
    (Show?)

    So a couple of Republican legislators have views that differ from yours and immediately they are a labeled as part of an "extremist take over." (I thought labels were bad?)

    But the facts show Ballot Measure 36, defining marriage as between one man and one women, was overwhelmingly passed by Oregon voters (57% to be exact).

    By your logic, those 57% of Oregon voters must be part of this "extremist take over."

    And you bemoan the lack of media coverage to the opposition of the Oregon Domestic Partnership Law. Is it not a rhetorical question to ask, "Where's the coverage?" It would seem the majority of Oregonians don't care.

  • dinopdx (unverified)
    (Show?)

    r. james - How do you know that those people who voted for Measure 36 also are against domestic partnership? Did you ask every single one of them? In fact, the people who wrote Measure 36 specifically told everyone that the measure is NOT meant to stop domestic partnership. I personally think that the two Republican lawmakers filed the initiative because they are scared that no one would turn out to vote for the Republicans in November. They needed something to motivate people like you to vote.

    "Same-sex couples should seek marriage-like rights through another avenue, such as civil unions." -- Tim Nashif, Oregon Family Council Director and an organizer of the Measure 36 campaign, Bend Bulletin 8/20/2004

    "If same-sex couples need legal protection, they should consult their legislative representatives. If they need legislation to do that, no one is going to stand in their way." -- Defense of Marriage Coalition Executive Director Mike White, Lincoln City News Guard 11/10/2004

    "The Coalition's amendment did not preclude the state of Oregon from creating civil unions, so that same-sex couples could have the same rights as married heterosexual couples." -- Defense of Marriage Coalition Spokesperson Georgene Rice, The Dalles Chronicle 9/30/2004

  • Lewis (unverified)
    (Show?)

    No surprise, really. Even though it doesn't change the one man, one woman deal at all. That still stands. It's even more blatent that these people are haters. Haters of those who they are called upon to represent and live with here in Oregon. They don't like us. They don't like homosexuality. They are haters, plain and simple. I've already looked at moving to Canada...just today. They know about all men being created equal up there.

  • anon (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Dinopdx is right.

    Also, don't forget that BM 36 DID NOT include a ban on civil unions or domestic partnerships. In a number of states, the gay marriage ban included additional bans on legal partnerships (such as civil unions), but NOT IN OREGON.

    Its a very open secret that the polling on BM 36 showed that if it included a ban on civil unions or domestic partnerships, it would fail.

    And yet, we get this lie repeated by r. james and other bigots.

  • Marshall Collins (unverified)
    (Show?)

    I share the feelings of Jeanna. Am I suprised that someone filed: no. Am I suprised at who those someone's are: yes. I am guessing that this doesn't have as much to do with their personal belifs as it does the fact that I am sure that for their name and a few ad spots they will both be ensured some very nice donations. Also, Girod now has to defend the Senate seat he just picked up, both in a primary and general election. I am guessing that for the primary he is wanting to pick up some easy conservative street cred.

    I am curious to see how this dirve is organized compared to the ref drive. Conservatives have contended that the reason the first signature drive failed wasn't due to lack of voter support but more because of the orgizational ineptitude of Marilyn Shannon. I believe that although that may have played a part that Oregonians really were not that interested in signing this petition. In 2004 over 240k petitions were collected for M36 in just 37 days 2007 saw 62k signatures collected in 131 days Assuming this is approved for circulation within the week you are only looking at about 120 days to collect the required 82k sigs. What about their strategy is going to be so much more different and effective that they will be able to collect double the amount of signatures in less time? My opinion is there isn't anything different and that all we have to worry about in 2008 is Lon Mabon and his BS. Anyone else care to take a stab?

  • LarryMcD (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Mary Matalin is being seriously promoted as the next Chair of the Republican National Committee...

    Back in February 2000 when she thought it didn't seem like it would matter she said, on Meet the Press, "I will demonize Republicans that gay-bash in 2000. If we don’t get off that, we don’t deserve to be a majority party..."

    Eight years later, she's still right.

    We have to crush these people at the ballot box like the dark-dwelling cockroaches they are. They don't even deserve to be a minority party.

  • Greg D (unverified)
    (Show?)

    When you place the civil rights of the minority at the discretion of the majority, the minority is screwed. I think that is why our forefathers (foremothers?) adopted the Bill of Rights.

    At the risk of offending my personal patron saint Lars Larson, initiatives are toxic when it comes to protecting the rights of a minority. The solution is to amend the Oregon constitution to limit (or eliminate) initiatives and to leave government to the elected legislature.

  • LT (unverified)
    (Show?)

    r james---had the referendum qualified for the ballot, certainly someone would have dug up that comment from someone on the Yes on 36 campaign along the lines of "marriage is a sacrament, but civil unions aren't the same thing".

    Does the "sanctity of marriage" really mean that blood relatives and a man married to a woman are the only relationships allowed hospital visiting rights? And that helps all Oregonians retain the "sanctity of marriage" in what way?

  • (Show?)

    Greg:

    One of the biggest problems is that people think this country is all about majority rules. They have forgotten there is more to the phrase - it's actually majority rules, with minority rights.

    One of the founding issues of this country is that the majority would not be able to limit the rights of the minority. This was one of the reasons why many people fled countries in Europe and moved to America. When that continued in America under the rule of those same countries, and was then coupled with issues over taxation and representation, the people fought for independence.

    It's funny how some in this country push for many of the things that led to America being settled (and its subsequent independence) in the first place. I guess we shouldn't be surprised since we're essentially living under another King George right now.

    It's also funny that many Republicans consider Abraham Lincoln to be their favorite president, but they ignore one of this most famous quotes:

    "Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal."

    I don't see anything about all men being created equal, as long as the majority says so.

  • r. james (unverified)
    (Show?)

    I'm glad to see my previous post has prompted further discussion of this issue. What I find interesting is that because I took a contrary point of view in an attempt to answer the question, "Where is the coverage?", I am immediately labeled a "bigot."

    How interesting, considering none of you know me, my personal beliefs or my sexual orientation. Please, re-read my post and tell me where I once expressed my PERSONAL beliefs. And even if my beliefs differed from the majority who frequent this website, am I not allowed to hold those beliefs? It seems some who label themselves as "progressive" are very, very intolerant of others. Isn't that the definition of a bigot?

  • (Show?)

    Dinopdx is correct of course, but that is all an unintended red herring.

    I would bet good money that the filed initiative is much less about what is says it's about than it is about trying to fire up conservatives to vote and thereby try to limit the damage that they know will be meted out to them by Oregonians either way.

  • (Show?)

    R James... You're such an intolerant jerk that you fail to even see that your own comments gave you away.

    This is a discussion about domestic partnerships. But as others have noted above, Measure 36 didn't ban domestic partnerships. In fact, the proponents of M36 specifically argued that DPs would be a preferable alternative.

    By your logic, those 57% of Oregon voters must be part of this "extremist take over."

    That's where you gave yourself away. Because no one here is saying that except you. Not even through anyone's "logic" but yours.

    I thought labels were bad?

    I have no idea what you're getting at, but no: labels are a very good thing. They help us easily summarize people's ideological positions: progressive, conservative, homophobic, etc.

  • LT (unverified)
    (Show?)

    rjames, you have the right to believe whatever you want, as does anyone else.

    But a statement like this, "But the facts show Ballot Measure 36, defining marriage as between one man and one women, was overwhelmingly passed by Oregon voters (57% to be exact).",

    is no different than a legislative leader claiming to know why each and every vote against a ballot measure was an easy decision and for the same reason as his no vote, or a consultant saying "people" always read the ballot title before voting--no matter how many measures are on the ballot.

    In each case, unless the person speaking has talked to every voter, they have no idea why they voted. Sometimes in a room with 10 people who voted the same way, there are 10 different reasons. And they have the right not to have a stranger assume their reason for voting the way they did without asking them. That's simple courtesy.

  • smr (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Ah, "minority rights." But who decides what group is a "minority" and what "rights" they have?

    Convicted felons are one of the most discriminated-against minority groups out there. In many states, the majority has seen fit to deny them fundamental constitutional rights--the right to vote and the right to bear arms.

    Huh. I guess all men aren't created equal after all.

  • Bill Jones (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Why is government involved in this?

    If this was privatized, you could just seek out a company that shares your views.

    Get government out of the marriage business (and many others, like development, land use and selecting winners in business) and the problem will solve itself.

  • SSE (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Rep. Sal Esquivel has known and worked with many gay people in Southern Oregon for years and even at one time considered them his friends. I have to wonder if this is an attempt to garner popularity rather than his own personal feelings. Doesn't he realize that ship has sailed. Call Sal office and let him know what you think of his hate: Office: 541-494-4944 Cell: 541-821-0771 Fax: 541-494-4945 http:/www.esquivelandassociates.com/sal.htm

  • Stephen Marc Beaudoin (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Hi Debra, thanks for your column here. "Where's the coverage?" you ask. Well, slide over to Just Out's blog (http://www.justout.com/pt/blog) and check out our continuing coverage on the initiative, the players involved, the process, etc. Thanks!

  • Wendy (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Thank you Debra for this excellent article on this unbelievable initiative filing. I agree, where has the coverage been? (Today my Google alerts kicked in). I am going to remain hopeful that they just won't gather enough signatures!

  • Eric Parker (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Is it too hard to ask these parasites to mind their own business? I would like to know why these two need to butt into something that is not any of their business to begin with. Are they that bored with thier lives that they have to impose themselves on others? Can anyone answer me that?

  • Murphy (unverified)
    (Show?)

    “But the facts show Ballot Measure 36, defining marriage as between one man and one women, was overwhelmingly passed by Oregon voters (57% to be exact). By your logic, those 57% of Oregon voters must be part of this "extremist take over."”

    And it was passed under false pretences (otherwise known as right-wing fundamentalists lies):

    To wit: "Same-sex couples should seek marriage-like rights through another avenue, such as civil unions."_-- Tim Nashif, Oregon Family Council Director and an organizer of the Measure 36 campaign, Bend Bulletin 8/20/2004

    "If same-sex couples need legal protection, they should consult their legislative representatives. If they need legislation to do that, no one is going to stand in their way."_-- Defense of Marriage Coalition Executive Director Mike White, Lincoln City News Guard 11/10/2004

    "The Coalition's amendment did not preclude the state of Oregon from creating civil unions, so that same-sex couples could have the same rights as married heterosexual couples."_-- Defense of Marriage Coalition Spokesperson Georgene Rice, The Dalles Chronicle 9/30/2004

    So which is it, R. James? The leaders of the anti-gay measure 36 says EXPLICITLY when trying to get the thing passed that domestic partnerships are okay with them.

    What? And now there’re not?

  • (Show?)

    I'm going to hope that they don't gather enough signatures, but this filing basically ensures that the people who failed the first time get a second chance, and this time to do it without mistakes and with enough of a cushion to cover the mistakes they do make.

    I haven't found the right words, but my gut instinct tells me that we (Oregonians) are going to have to come together as a community (LGBTQ or not) and fight, once and for all, the equality that we want in this state, stronger than we have in a long time.

  • Ed Bickford (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Sorry to point out (as did the referred BRO article) that in addition to I. P. 144 attempting to repeal HB2007, there is a parallel petition, I. P. 145 attempting to repeal SB2, the antidiscrimination law.

    It is a black day when Oregonians try to wipe out legal protections for a swath of its people. The R's must be desperate to resort to such tactics to gin up some relevance.

    <hr/>
guest column

connect with blueoregon