A federal judge in Oregon lifted an order blocking Oregon’s domestic partnership law from taking effect on Feb 1, just two days after more than 2,000 supporters rallied in Portland. Registrations began on Feb 4, entitling couples who pay the $60 registration fee to file taxes jointly, inherit each other’s property and make medical choices on each other’s behalf, among other benefits.
Signed by Democratic Governor Ted Kulongoski last May, the domestic partnership law was due to take effect on Jan 1, but a temporary injunction was posed pending resolution of an argument over petition signatures collected during an opposition drive to refer the partnership law to the November ballot. Judge Michael Mosman ruled that the Alliance Defense Fund, a Christian legal group, had actually come up short 96 signatures, and no improper disqualification of signatures had occurred. The Alliance Defense Fund vowed to appeal the ruling.
Voters in Oregon passed a state constitutional ban on same-sex marriages in 2004, which opponents of domestic partnership cited in their arguments against the new law.
Oregon becomes the 10th state in the U.S. to approve some form of relationship recognition for same-sex couples.
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