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Federal judge suspends Oregon domestic partnership law

[JURIST] A federal judge on Friday blocked an Oregon law [HB 2007 text] that would allow same-sex couples to enter into contractual domestic partnerships [JURIST news archive]. The law was scheduled to take effect on January 1, but US District Judge Michael Mosman suspended it, setting a hearing for February 1 to decide whether or not to permanently block the measure. Opponents have challenged the verification process [complaint, PDF; fact sheet, PDF] that disqualified several thousand signatures, submitted in an attempt to force a referendum on the November 2008 ballot. AP has more. The Register-Guard has local coverage.

In October, opponents failed to have the issue put to popular vote, falling short by 116 signatures [Oregonian report], clearing the way for the law to take effect [JURIST report] in the new year as scheduled. The measure was passed by the Oregon Senate in May and the Oregon House [JURIST reports] in April. Gov. Ted Kulongoski signed [JURIST report] the bill into law in May.

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