ON MARCH 5, the group that earlier lost a court battle to block Oregon's domestic partnership re-emerged, filing an appeal in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
The documents filed so far don't say much, other than the plaintiffs—folks who signed a referral measure aimed at putting the domestic partnership law to a vote before it took effect, a measure that failed to garner enough signatures—are appealing. The Alliance Defense Fund, whose attorneys filed the appeal, did not return the Mercury's call for comment.
In the meantime, the initiative filed earlier this month to repeal the domestic partnership law—and another initiative that would repeal the anti-discrimination law that protects on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity—received a ballot title on Monday, March 10. The ballot title is the first step before an initiative can even head out the door for signature gathering; both proponents and opponents can object to the ballot title, and duke it out in court, which could tie up the initiatives for weeks.
The domestic partnership repeal's title reads: "Repeals state law that grants privileges, immunities, rights, benefits, responsibilities of marriage to domestic partners." The word "marriage" is almost certain to provoke an appeal.
Basic Rights Oregon (BRO) has yet to file an appeal of the ballot title. However, earlier, BRO's executive director responded to the dual initiatives: "We expected to spend this year defending the laws along with implementing them, and that's exactly what we're doing," says Jeana Frazzini. "Basic Rights Oregon will monitor our opponents' efforts to make sure they follow the rules. These folks are already under investigation for breaking campaign finance laws during last year's failed referendum efforts. And we will continue to mobilize fair-minded Oregonians through voter outreach, public education, and grassroots organizing."