House and Senate Pass Bill Granting Domestic Partnerships

May, 2007

On May 2, 2007, Oregon passed House Bill 2007 which allows same-sex couples to enter into legal contracts creating domestic partnerships.  The bill grants gay and lesbian couples the same benefits of marriage under state law.  This bill follows the passing of Senate Bill 2 which prohibits employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.  Governor Kulongoski says he will sign both into law.

The question facing employers under HB 2007 is whether employers will be required to offer the same benefits to domestic partners as married couples.  While this has not been specifically addressed, that is certainly the intent of the law.  Accordingly, employers providing benefits that cover an employee's spouse are encouraged to include domestic partners under their plans.


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