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THE FIGHT OF OUR LIVES IN THE LEGISLATURE!

How Reciprocal Benefits undermine true equality...
The next several weeks will be the fight of our lives in the Oregon legislature to pass SB 1000, which would create civil unions and ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

But, this week opponents of fairness for GLBT Oregonians, the Oregon Family Council, Defense of Marriage Coalition and extreme house conservatives, are expected to introduce a "Reciprocal Beneficiaries" bill in the Oregon house. This bill is an attempt by religious extremists to appear "moderate", to undermine any real chance at fairness for same-sex couples and to dominate the terms of this debate by making civil unions look too extreme for Oregon.

With this move by the Right and Senate Bill 1000 firmly supported in the senate, the name of the game now in the Oregon legislature is negotiation. If Oregon lawmakers don't hear from supporters of REAL fairness and equality, then those on the fringe will decide this issue for the rest of us.

Our opponents say this bill addresses "legitimate issues of fairness" for same-sex couples. But don't be fooled. Reciprocal beneficiaries are anything but fair. . .and they are not the same as civil unions.

  • While civil unions provide roughly 500 rights and protections, reciprocal beneficiaries chip away at the bedrock of family protections civil unions offer to provide only a handful of rights (most of which can already be achieved through contracts).
  • While civil unions seek to recognize committed same-sex relationships and create a lasting family unit, reciprocal beneficiaries degrade these relationships by lumping same-sex couples into a status also available to two siblings, roommates, parents and children, or two widows.
  • The State of Oregon has a moral and constitutional obligation to ensure that all committed, same-sex couples have the ability to enter into a civil status that allows their families to be treated equally under the law.
  • In the debate over same-sex marriage, civil unions (Senate Bill 1000) are the only reasonable compromise in step with Oregon's values of fairness and dignity for all its citizens.
We are already hearing from some lawmakers who think these partial protections are good enough, who believe the DOMC's outrageous claims that discrimination doesn't exist and that Oregonians voted against civil unions when they voted for Measure 36.

Some lawmakers do not believe that we will hold them accountable for voting with Tim Nashif and the Defense of Marriage coalition and against fair-minded Oregonians who want REAL fairness for same-sex couples.
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By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 10, 2007 7:53 AM

if all committed couples need to be respected equally than all domestic partners should have equal rights even for heteral sexual partners reguarding health benefits through employers same sex plans. such as claiming taxes for health insurance costs and discounts that same sex partners recieve.this is discrimination agaist heteral sex couples they need equal rights too.    



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