Advocates of Same-Sex “Marriage” Advance Agenda in Washington, Oregon, New York, and Connecticut
By Peter J. Smith
UNITED STATES, April 23, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Homosexual activists have gained ground in their agenda to promote same-sex “marriage” or civil unions in four US states: Washington, Oregon, New York, and Connecticut, where state lawmakers have recently signed, passed, or promised legislation detrimental to traditional marriage and family.
In Washington, Gov. Chris Gregoire signed into law the domestic partnership bill on Saturday, which gives homosexual couples legal rights and privileges reserved for married couples, including hospital visitation rights, the ability to authorize autopsies and organ donations and inheritance rights when there is no will.
The new law, which pro-family advocates believe is a significant step towards same-sex “marriage”, mandates the creation of a domestic partnership registry with the state. Registered “couples” would have to share a home, not be married or in a domestic relationship with someone else, and be at least 18 years old.
A provision of the bill allows unmarried heterosexual senior couples to qualify for domestic partnerships if one partner were at least 62 on the basis that the provision would help seniors threatened by losing pension rights and Social Security benefits if they remarry.
Last July the Washington Supreme Court upheld the 1998 Defense of Marriage Act, which recognizes marriage as only the union of a man and a woman. The Court recognized that marriage was designed for the procreation of children, but said only the legislature had the ability to overturn the law or amend it to include same-sex couples.
In Oregon, the state House of Representatives on April 17 passed a domestic partnerships bill granting same-sex couples legal rights and benefits recognized as belonging to traditional married couples.
The bill, HB 2007, passed the House by a vote of 34-26 and now goes on to the Senate. Both chambers are controlled by Democrats, and Democrat Gov. Ted Kulongoski, has pledged to sign the bill.
Oregon has a constitutional amendment prohibiting same-sex “marriage.”
In Connecticut, a bill legalizing same-sex “marriage” will be debated in the House of Representatives. On April 12, the House Judiciary Committee voted 27-15 to approve the bill, which follows upon the civil unions law Connecticut passed two years ago.
However, Republican Gov. M. Jodi Rell, who signed the civil unions law, opposes same-sex “marriage”, and restated her position last Thursday that marriage is an exclusive union between one man and one woman.
New York governor Eliot Spitzer plans to propose legislation in the approaching weeks to legalize same-sex “marriage”, fulfilling a campaign pledge he made last year.
The Democratic governor had been lately silent on the issue, neglecting to mention the issue in his State of the State speech in January or when he outlined his legislative goals last week for the remaining legislative session ending June 21.
The governor’s spokeswoman, Christine Anderson, assured The New York Times that Spitzer would go forward with the bill to legalize same-sex “marriage.”
"The governor made a commitment to advance a program bill, and he will fulfill that commitment during this legislative session," Anderson told the Times.
Thus far, legislation to legalize same-sex “marriage” has never made it to a floor vote in either the Democrat-controlled Assembly or the Republican-controlled state Senate.