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Opponents Aim to Put Gay Rights to Vote

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

That was the headline in today's Oregonian and unfortunately, it's true. Together we won tremendous gains toward equality at the Legislature, and together we can - and will - protect those rights at the ballot. But we cannot do it alone.

The Oregon Family Fairness Act and The Oregon Equality Act together seek to ensure fundamental fairness for all Oregonians and their families, but a vocal minority has taken an extreme pro-discrimination, anti-family stand.

The Constitution Party of Oregon has filed the necessary paperwork to begin gathering signatures to do a referendum on the new Domestic Partnership law (House Bill 2007) AND the comprehensive, statewide Anti-Discrimination law (Senate Bill 2). Both are slated to go into effect on January 1, 2008--but if the signatures are gathered, these bills will not become law until after the November 2008 election…provided voters vote to keep these laws.

The Constitution Party is just one of three known groups who are planning attempts to gather the just over 55,000 signatures needed to put you and your family's livelihood on the 2008 ballot.

What IS certain is that we need your help right now. Basic Rights Oregon MUST finance our operations to ensure that our victories remain victories. Today we call upon you to donate and donate generously. After a victory 34 years in the making, we will not let our anti-family opponents turn back the clock on basic fairness for ALL Oregonians. Click here to contribute now.

Now is the time. Please consider making a donation of $50, $100 or $250 today.

Remember, on the donation page, select the "Basic Measure PAC" to make your contribution to. This way, the money goes where it is needed and you get a $50 political tax credit for 2007 per individual/$100 per couple.

Even before the ink has dried on these two historic bills designed to safeguard Oregonians and their families, an anti-family, pro-discrimination minority has announced their intentions to attack these protections in a campaign that will no doubt be as mean-spirited as this state has seen in many, many years.

To give you an example of what the opponents are saying in regards to the two bills that were signed last week:

"...a clear attempt by the ungodly to deconstruct America's Christian based social order in favor of pagan and heathen immorality, and should be vigorously and diligently opposed."

"No bill in Oregon history will have brought more social disruption, disunity and moral confusion... to individuals who do not approve of these behaviors."

- David Crowe of Restore America in emails to his supporters

Please help Basic Rights Oregon gear up for the difficult and costly fight ahead of us. Click here to contribute today.

Remember, on the donation page, select the ''Basic Measure PAC'' to make your contribution to. This way, the money goes where it is needed and you get a $50 political tax credit for 2007 per individual/$100 per couple.

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BREAKING: Kulongoski Signs Basic Fairness Legislation!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007
Today marks a landmark victory for Oregonians and their families. Senate Bill 2 and House Bill 2007 will become law January 1, 2008.

View our press release here.

HB 2007 Vote Breakdown

Wednesday, May 02, 2007
Voted for HB 2007 and in favor Oregon families:
Brad  Avakian-D
Alan  Bates-D
Kate  Brown-D
Ginny  Burdick-D
Margaret  Carter-D
Peter  Courtney-D
Ryan  Deckert-D
Richard  Devlin-D
Avel  Gordly-I
Betsy  Johnson-D
Rick  Metsger-D
Laurie  Monnes Anderson-D
Rod  Monroe-D
Bill  Morrisette-D
Frank  Morse-R
David  Nelson-R
Floyd  Prozanski-D
Kurt  Schrader-D
Joanne  Verger-D
Vicki  Walker-D
Ben  Westlund-D

Voted Against Oregon Families:
Jason  Atkinson-R
Roger  Beyer-R
Ted  Ferrioli-R
Gary  George-R
Larry  George-R
Jeff  Kruse-R
Bruce  Starr-R
Doug  Whitsett-R
Jackie  Winters-R

LIVE! From the HB 2007 Oregon Senate Vote

Tuesday, May 01, 2007
11:38am HOUSE BILL 2007 PASSES 21-9!!!

11:37am Vote begins.

11:35am When nature calls...

11:35am Here it goes. Oh - looking for a missing Senator.

11:33am ROLL CALL.


11:32am Sen. Burdick has 7:30 left to speak.

11:31amHB 2007 is landmark for all oregonians. With this legislation we say that Oregon values all families. With this legislation we are telling families that they do not need to carry a legal briefcase with them at all times. With this legislation, we are protecting the rights of children is one of their parents were to die".... she keeps going. Same-sex couples will no longer be treated as strangers.

11:30amSen. Burdick seems to be the LAST person to want to speak. Here comes the vote!!

11:29am "Our job today is to determine how big is Oregon's heart" said Morse. "Our job today is to define the heart of Oregon--is it big enough? Is it big enough?"

11:29am PLEASE EXCUSE SPELLING ERRORS :) I am typing as fast as I can and I know there are typos.

11:28amMorse now reads a letter from a constituent.

11:27am Sen. Frank Morse now speaks. Speaks of last session and calls it a lonely journey, calls today another day and an opp. to do something right for Oregon"

11:26amSen. Westlund passionately supports the bill.

11:23amSen. Westlund says, "Finally the legislature has the political will and courage to pass this legislation" He recognized the 3 other sponsors of SB1000 last session. He was one of the four.

"I am so proud to be standing in this chamber... to be afforded the right of the dignity of their humanness. It is that simple, that important and that profound. To be afforded the right to their humanness".

11:21am Sen. Alan Bates now speaks. He was a sponsor on SB 1000.

11:17am Sen. Vicki Walker now speaks.

  • "Today's vote is of historic significance"
  • "This is not full equality"
  • "This is a bittersweet vote"
  • "Couples will still be denied over 1100 benefits at the federal level"
  • "Unlike marriage the benefits in HB 2007 are only valid within Oregon. If they travel to any other state, they take none of the protections and responsibilities"
  • "Strangers under the law outside the borders of Oregon"
  • "It is shameful that we must in the name of equality setup a law in the name of inequality"
  • "This bill makes some Oregonians 'less than'"

    Sen. Walker now talks about how she had to exit the committee because of how awful the testimony was. How "ugly it was".
  • "This bill today is the right thing to do because it is a significant step forward"
  • "I pledge to my constituents and to all Oregonians that I will continue to advocate for full equality under the law. I urge an Aye vote on HB 2007"

    11:15am Sen. Beyer protests the bill and says that he is not voting for the bill because it effects 274 statues. Sadly, that is not why he is going to vote no. Based on prior comments from the Senator it comes down to him being anti-gay. He voted no in 2005 on Senate Bill 1000, voted no on anti-discrimination legislation (Senate Bill 2), voted no this session in Committee and will again vote no on this bill.

    11:13am Beyer has asked Sen. Brown about 4 questions so far. Sen. Brown stays firm, yet calm.

    11:12am Beyer asks about the fiscal impact. Brown says section 9 directly addresses the rights and responsibilities in this bill.

    11:10amSen. Beyer now speaks. Questioning Section 9 of the bill. Asking what exactly what statutes, administrative rules and "court rulings" that would be changed by this bill.

    11:09amKate Brown now reads a letter from a couple. A couple that has gone through extensive health issues with one of the partners. While sitting at the bedside of her longtime partner, with the advanced directive in her hands. The nurse told her that her partner "was sick because of sins against God." The nurse tried to make her leave the bedside of her longtime partner.

    11:04amBTW- HB 2007 is being carried by Sen. Kate Brown and Sen. Ginny Burdick.

    11:02am Discussing how it DOES NOT change current Oregon state marriage statutes. But does vital basic rights such as: bereavement or sick leave to care for a partner or a partner's child; choose a final resting place for a deceased partner; transfer property and assets from a deceased partner to his or her surviving partner if the deceased had no valid will; obtain joint health, home and auto insurance policies; enter joint rental agreements; get an equitable division of property in a partnership dissolution or annulment; file joint state tax returns; receive a death benefit under state worker's compensation laws; the responsibility to pay court-ordered child or spousal support after a partnership is dissolved.

    11:02am She's currently providing an overview of House Bill 2007.

    11:01am Sen. Kate Brown opens up the debate.

    10:59am They're back. Senate President asks everyone to respect the rules of the Senate.

    BACK IN 15 Mins.

    10:35am: Here we go. HB 2007 debate begins. Sen. Majority Leader Kate Brown begins. Then calls for caucus. Recess until 10:55. 15 minutes.

    10:32am: Ben Westlund just walked by me and tapped my head saying "get to work". Love Ben Westlund, though shouldn't he be on the floor? He looks great though. Looking very fit these days. Go Ben!

    10:31am: Remonstrances. Joanne Verger speaks.

    10:28am: "Governor Barbara Robert is here today to make sure that we do our work well", says Sen. Rod Monroe.

    10:27am: They are now extending courtesies to honorary pages.

    10:24am: Invocation and Prayer.

    10:22am: Pledge.

    10:19am: Flags in ready position for 'posting of the colors'.

    10:16am: Senators are beginning to trickle in onto the floor. Must have been a late night out.

    10:15am: Roll call begins. No Senators on floor.
  • LIVE Blogging Tomorrow From Senate Vote on HB 2007

    Just a reminder that BRO Staff will be blogging live from the Senate vote on our Domestic partnerships bill (HB 2007). Blogging will start around 10:15am.