Oregon Gay Rights Foes Fail in Challenge of Domestic Partner Law

Defense of Family and Marriage Again, the “pro-family” group in Oregon led by former senator Marilyn Shannon which has worked feverishly since April to collect enough signatures to challenge a domestic partners law scheduled to go into effect in January 2008, has failed to turn in the required amount of legitimate signatures to block the new law.

Shannon_oregonThe AP reports: “State elections officials reported Monday the effort fell only 116 valid signatures short of the 55,179 needed to suspend the law and place it on the November 2008 ballot for a popular vote. That means that as of Jan. 1, Oregon will join eight other states that have approved spousal rights in some form for same-sex couples – Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Maine, California, Washington and Hawaii. Massachusetts is the only state that allows gay couples to marry.”

Another law, one banning discrimination based on sexual orientation in employment, housing, and public accommodation, is also being challenged, but officials say foes may also lose on this one as well.

Still, bigotry does not tire easily: “Sponsors of the referral effort had conceded in recent days that they probably hadn’t gotten enough signatures. But they vowed to take another avenue to try to derail the laws – an initiative effort to repeal the laws outright. They would have until next July to collect signatures for that effort.”

Said Shannon: “We’re not discouraged. We definitely will file initiatives to repeal both of these laws.”

In any case, a great step forward for Oregon.


  1. beergoggles says

    About time. Their funding is drying up. Their votes are drying up. Pretty soon, it’ll be just the south that’s clinging to their regressive ways. Then once enough of that generation dies off due to old age, even that’ll change.

    Does it mean I’m a bad person that I take so much pleasure in seeing them spin their wheels and get nowhere?

  2. Jonathon says

    It must be so hard to be “conservative” in the Northwest. It’s sorta like being a liberal here in the Southeast.

    It is nice to know that my fellow Americans in the Northwest are civilized enough not to use the ballot box to take rights away from people.

  3. Ben says

    I don’t understand why these people can’t focus on more important topics, such as homelessness, poverty, education or other social lackings. If they put the money they’re wasting on these anti-gay efforts into something useful, like adult literacy programs, after-school programs, arts programs, shelters, etc, this country would be in a much better frame of mind and heart. Sad.

  4. Colin says

    I’m happy to hear that DOFMA failed, even if they were just a hairs breadth from getting onto the ballot. But, I do doubt that this is the last we’ve heard from this gaggle of repressive bastards.

  5. Jon says

    Wasn’t this the same woman who was saying that the legislature should follow the will of the people, rather than going against it. I believe that was her whole (stated) impetus for starting this campaign, because Oregonians banned Marriage.

    Of course, now, she wasn’t able to get enough signatures, because the people didn’t want to sign. Where’s her resolve to follow their will now?

  6. So Left I'm Right says

    Amen, Ben. If these clowns spent half of the effort they do going after “the gays” on doing something socially productive, what a wonderful world it would be. The negativity and waste of time, effort and money is just so pathetic. If it’s not “activist judges” it’s defeating successful legislation by bigotry at the ballot box. You just can’t please these people.

    As more of these rights expansions succeed and, as in Mass., the normal, non-Christofascist members of society realize the sky hasn’t fallen, the more these tired bigots will shrivel and die, and the more our rights will succeed in the legislatures and the ballot boxes. Man, where did this sudden optimistic side of me come from?

  7. todd simmons says

    and now, the even better news: marilyn shannon’s second ballot initiative, to repeal oregon’s anti-discrimination law, has also fallen short. secretary of state has just announced they were 1,500 signatures shy of qualifying. both the DP law and the anti-discrim law now take effect jan. 1 of next year.

    the best revenge is living well.