Oregon Says “Yes” to Gay Rights

The Oregon House passed two bills that will allow same-sex couples the same benefits as married couples, and protection against discrimination. Governor Ted Kulongoski plans to sign both.

The first bill would enable same-sex couples to enter into contractual relationships that grant them the same benefits offered to married couples under state law. The bill refers to the relationships as domestic partnerships.

Oregon would join Vermont, Connecticut, California and New Jersey in offering civil unions or domestic partnerships to same-sex couples. Massachusetts allows gay couples to marry. Hawaii extends certain spousal rights to same-sex couples. The Washington Legislature approved a limited domestic partnership bill that’s expected to be signed into law soon.

The other bill that passed Tuesday would ban discrimination against GLBT people in employment, housing and access to public accommodations. If it passes, Oregon would become one of 18 states with laws banning discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Source: Associated Press

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