Not enough signatures for domestic partnership opponents

I know I’m a day late and a dollar short on this one but I’m still happy to announce that Defense of Marriage Again and other groups trying to stall our rights to domestic partnerships have failed to gather enough signatures. It was a close one, as they claimed to have 63,000 signatures but only 55,063 turned out to be valid. Know how many they needed? 55,179.

That was one close call my friends.

Here’s a complete statement from Basic Rights Oregon:

We just heard from the Secretary of State’s office: by the slenderest of margins – less than 1/2 of 1 percent, anti-gay groups have failed in their effort to force a public vote on Oregon’s new domestic partnership law.

The fact that they were unable to meet even this extremely low signature threshold shows how out of step they are with Oregon values.

The message is clear: Oregonians believe that committed couples should have the legal recognition they need to take care of each other, especially in a crisis. Come January 1st, when our domestic partnership law goes into effect, that will be the reality in Oregon.

But we’re not out of the woods yet. The Secretary of State’s office is still counting signatures on the attempt to refer our new nondiscrimination law. We expect to hear more by the end of the week.

And anti-gay groups have vowed to try again, using the initiative process to try to REPEAL the law. This would give them until next July 3rd to collect roughly 82,000 signatures.

So while we celebrate this tremendous victory, we can’t let down our guard. We must be prepared to defend these laws at the ballot, enforce them once they go into effect, and elect more fair-minded candidates to public office.

How we won this round

All along, we knew this would be a struggle. No group has ever achieved equal rights without a fight.

When anti-gay groups announced earlier this year that they would attempt to challenge Oregon’s new domestic partnership, we got to work right away. Volunteers around the state launched an education campaign. We ran a massive “decline to sign” campaign talking to thousands of Oregonians at summer fairs and festivals.

While they collected signatures for their doomed effort, we signed up thousands of Oregonians who have pledged to defend equality. When they turned in their signatures, we looked through every single petition sheet. And we challenged them at every turn. When the petitions went to the counties for further verification, we spread out across the state and personally observed 65% of the sampling effort. And we challenged them again.

We explored every option. We left no stone unturned. At every step along the way, we ensured that only valid signatures were counted.

And we couldn’t have done it without your help. Thank you for your continued support!

We will share news on the signature verification process for the anti-discrimination referendum as soon as we know the outcome – look for something at the end of this week.

Again, thank you for supporting equality in Oregon!

On a totally unrelated sidenote, I did indeed try to go to the last Sissyboy show. I’ve actually been looking forward to it for weeks. But not only were you unable to get in by 11p but even if we had decided to wait it out in the cold the crowd seemed oh so PICA artsy and not so much dirty queer. Not sure if that was the best send off for the ladyboys but still I wouldn’t mind seeing pictures/ So if you did manage to get in, and you were tall enough to see at least something (which I’m sure I wouldn’t have been as pump wearing DQs would surely have converged in front of my tiny 5’4″ frame) please send me snapshots and I will post them.

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