Judge Leans Right, Orders February Hearings

No Go On Oregon’s Domestic Partnerships

It’s not such a happy new year for gay Oregonians. The state’s legislature passed domestic partner laws earlier this year, laws which were to go into effect tomorrow. Unfortunately a state judge has decided to reconsider the controversial legislation:

A federal judge on Friday placed on hold a state domestic partnership law that was set to take effect Jan. 1, pending a February hearing.

The law would give some spousal rights to same-sex couples.

Opponents asked U.S. District Judge Michael W. Mosman to intercede after the Oregon secretary of state’s office ruled in October that they had failed to collect enough valid signatures on a referendum to block the law.

After the Legislature approved the domestic partnership law this year, gay rights opponents launched an effort to collect enough signatures to suspend the law and place it on the November 2008 ballot for a statewide vote.

But state elections officials said this fall that the effort fell 116 valid signatures short of the 55,179 needed to suspend the law.

Anti-gay activists argue that the state’s “process was flawed,” according to the AP. The Alliance Defense Fund says officials “disenfranchised” concerned citizens. Judge Mosman agreed.

The battle continues…