by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff
(Salem, Oregon) Oregon same-sex couples are anxiously awaiting the start of the 2007 session of the Legislature and the return of legislation that would allow civil unions in the state.
The Democratically controlled Senate last year approved a civil unions bill only to see it die in the Republican dominated House.
The GOP leadership first gutted the legislation (story) and then House Speaker Karen Minnis refused to allow it to come to a vote. (story) In an interview at the time, Minnis said Oregonians decided the issue in 2004 when they joined with voters in 10 other states in passing gay marriage bans.
The bill would have created a civil unions registry and grant same-sex couples many of the rights available to married couples including inheritance benefits, pensions, property rights when a partner dies, and the right to make medical decisions for a partner.
The measure had the support of Gov. Ted Kulongoski who has pledged to support the reintroduction of the legislation.
This time it will have a much better chance of passage...