It's official: Oregon's statewide domestic partnership law goes into effect on Monday.
Last year, both houses of the Oregon legislature passed a bill establishing domestic partnerships for same-sex couples, granting them all the rights, responsibilities and protections of civil marriage. The governor signed the bill. Opponents began a petition drive to remand the bill to the voters, but failed to gather enough signatures. They then sued the state, claiming that some signatures were improperly invalidated and on December 28, just five days before the law was scheduled to go into effect, US District Judge Michael Mosman suspended the law pending a hearing on the alleged irregularities.
At the hearing on Friday, Judge Mosman ruled that the petition had failed and that same-sex couples could begin registering on February 4.
The Alliance Defense Fund, a right-wing activist organization based in Arizona, is considering an appeal. “In America, every citizen’s voice counts. Government bureaucrats cannot decide what is best for the people of Oregon. We are considering all options for appeal of today’s decision on behalf of disenfranchised Oregonians,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Austin R. Nimocks in a press release.
This is why gay marriage in the United States is inevitable: the opponents have no case.
Let's deconstruct ADF's statement a bit. Government bureaucrats? You mean, the legislature? Let's review our gay marriage battle history: first there were the court victories, when the bigots argued that "unelected, unaccountable activist judges" had no business meddling in marriage, which was rightfully regulated by the legislature. Now that the legislature -- elected by and accountable to the people -- has enacted a new law, they're no longer representatives, they're "government bureaucrats"? Then you guys utilized your right to challenge the law by putting it up for popular vote. Every citizen's voice counts? Dude, you couldn't find anyone to sign your petition.
This law has been reviewed and approved by the executive, legislative and judicial branches of the state government, and now the voters (by means of a petition) have rejected an attempt to overturn the law. Yet you respond, "Our country is founded on the basic principle of government of the people, by the people, and for the people. It should stay that way in Oregon," as blathered by Nimocks.
Yes. And you lost, every step of the way. I think the people have spoken, honey.
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Post-script for legal nerds: Judge Mosman, a Mormon, Republican Bush-appointee, cited Bush v. Gore as part of the basis of his ruling.
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I would have blogged on this yesterday, except this anti-war, pro-universal-healthcare, gay, Barack-Obama-endorsing liberal got himself elected to the parish vestry and was on a church retreat until late this afternoon. So put that in your pipe and smoke it, you silly conservatives.