[JURIST] A gay rights bill [HB 2007 text] that would allow same-sex couples in Oregon to enter into contractual relationships affording them the benefits available to married couples passed in the Oregon House of Representatives [official website] Tuesday. A second piece of legislation [SB 2] protecting individuals against discrimination based on sexual orientation also passed in the state House. That bill would ban discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations, and create a civil cause of action for violations of the act. Both gay rights [JURIST news archive] bills are expected to pass in the Oregon State Senate [official website], and Gov. Ted Kulongoski [official website] has already announced his support [press release] for the legislation.
Last week, the Washington State House of Representatives approved a domestic partnership bill (SB 5336) [PDF text; bill summary; JURIST report] that grants same-sex couples hospital visitation rights, inheritance rights when there is no will, and the power to authorize medical procedures, such as organ donation and autopsies. Earlier this month, the New Hampshire House of Representatives passed a bill [HB 437 text; JURIST report] to allow civil unions for gay and lesbian couples. AP has more.