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MARRIAGE DIGEST: Oregon House passes domestic partnerships bill; …

SALEM, Ore. (BP)–The Oregon House of Representatives April 17 passed a domestic partnerships bill granting same-sex couples the legal benefits of marriage, continuing a recent trend of victories by homosexual activists in state legislatures.

The bill, H.B. 2007, passed the House by a vote of 34-26 and now goes on to the Senate. Both chambers are controlled by Democrats. Gov. Ted Kulongoski, a Democrat, has said he will sign it, The Oregonian reported.

“It is incomprehensible to me that in the year 2007, in this great state, that we should be having to debate civil rights and equal protection for all Oregonians,” Rep. Brad Witt, a Democrat and a bill supporter, said, according to the newspaper.

The bill — which would give homosexual couples all the state legal benefits of marriage — is but the latest victory for same-sex activists on the state level:

— New Hampshire’s House passed a bill April 4 legalizing same-sex civil unions, which are identical to Oregon’s domestic partnerships, but with a different name. It is now before the state Senate.

— Washington state’s House passed a bill April 10 legalizing domestic partnerships. It previously had passed the Senate; Democratic Gov. Chris Gregoire has indicated she would sign the bill, which would grant many, but not all, of marriage’s legal benefits.

— A Connecticut legislative committee passed a bill April 12 that would legalize “gay marriage.” It now goes to the state House.

With the exception of Connecticut — where civil unions already are legal — the victories by homosexual organizations represent a pragmatic strategy to get what they can. Movements to legalize “gay marriage” in New Hampshire and Washington state likely would be doomed; Oregon has a constitutional amendment prohibiting “gay marriage.”

Christian conservatives say the nationwide trend is another example of the breakdown of the natural, traditional family and could impact every avenue of life, including what is taught in schools.

“We need kindness, compassion and love for every citizen,” Oregon state Rep. Greg Smith, a Republican and a bill opponent, was quoted as saying in The Oregonian. Choking back tears, he added, “There are some of us in this chamber who view homosexuality in all its forms as a sin.”

MADISON MAYOR PROTESTS AMENDMENT — The mayor of Madison, Wis., joined half the members of the city council April 17 in taking their oath of office under protest of the state’s newly enacted marriage amendment.

Mayor Dave Cieslewicz and 10 of the 20 city council members raised their right hand in vowing to uphold the Wisconsin Constitution — which includes the marriage amendment. They then signed a statement saying they would work to overturn the amendment and were taking the oath under protest.

“I cannot in good conscience take office without noting my strong opposition to the recent amendment that so blatantly discriminates against my fellow Wisconsinites who are gay or lesbian,” Cieslewicz said, according to the Associated Press.

But even those who opposed the Wisconsin marriage amendment when it passed in November say Cieslewicz and the others made a mistake. One of those is the Wisconsin State Journal editorial board.

“The State Journal forcefully argued against the ban leading up to last fall’s vote,” the April 17 editorial read. “… But tampering with the formal pledge of support for the Wisconsin and U.S. constitutions simply follows one wrong with another. The oath is an important and symbolic gesture of respect for the democratic rule of law.

“… All of us probably object to one law or another. But in a democracy, we can’t always have every law worded exactly as we please. And if elected officials are allowed to amend their oath of office however they see fit, the whole process quickly renders itself meaningless. The oath of office becomes a joke of office.”

ARUBA MUST RECOGNIZE ‘GAY MARRIAGES’ — The Dutch Supreme Court has told Aruba it must recognize “gay marriages” performed in the Netherlands, Agence France-Presse reported. Aruba is a self-governing member of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and had refused to recognize the license of a lesbian couple who had moved to the island.

The Netherlands has recognized “gay marriage” since 2001. Aruba, though, is considerably more conservative.

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  • Michael Foust