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Here We Go Again

Another Anti-Gay Initiative Filed

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Less than a month after same-sex couples in Oregon started registering as domestic partners under a state law that lets them enjoy the same state rights and responsibilities as their married opposite-sex counterparts, anti-gay activists filed an initiative to repeal the law.

State Senator Fred Girod (R-Stayton) and State Representative Sal Esquivel (R-Medford) filed the proposed initiative on Friday, February 29. If it makes it on the ballot and passes, the measure would repeal the domestic partnership law, and make it clear that "same-sex relationships, civil unions, or domestic partnerships do not grant to an individual the privileges, immunities, rights, and benefits granted by law through marriage to individuals." The measure would also apply retroactively to all domestic partnerships, according to the initiative text.

Don't expect to see signature gatherers on the streets just yet—the soonest petitions could debut is late March, after a public comment period. But wrangling over the ballot title—Basic Rights Oregon intends to watchdog the process—will likely delay signature gathering even further. Proponents of the initiative have until July 3 to turn in 82,769 valid signatures to land on November's ballot.

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