Speaker stalls Oregon civil rights bill
After passage of the state Senate Bill 1000--which both outlaws discrimination by orientation and passes civil unions for same sex couples--the focus turned to the Republican-controlled House, which has behaved this session as if it ran Congress and the Executive, instead of being the minority institution in an otherwise Democratic landscape.Apparently, SB 1000 has the votes to pass in the Oregon State House - but Minnis isn't scheduling the bill. She's using the power of speaker to prevent good legislation from passing the Legislature. This a deplorable shame.
House Leader Karen Minnis has refused to schedule the bill on what appears to be grounds that it would run afoul of the recently-passed Measure 36 (bumper title: One Man One Woman).
From Preemptive Karma:
Minnis' fiat is a slap in the face to all Oregonians. This very small minority of individuals is forcing a very large group of citizens from enjoying the most basic of rights: being a legally recognized family and protect individuals from discrimination. Minnis' cowardly and shameful attempt to hide SB1000 from a House vote is a black eye on the entire Republican Party of Oregon.We agree. It's just as cowardly as Washington State Senator Bill Finkbeiner, the GOP minority leader, who in the past supported anti-discrimination legislation such as this year's HB 1515, but voted against the bill because he was afraid to lose his position as minority leader.
Rep. Minnis should stop standing in the way of equality for Oregonians and allow the bill to come to the floor for a legitimate vote. How can Republicans complain about Democrats being "obstructionists" when they themselves engage in the same tactics? And it's not just in Oregon, either. It's a national double standard.
It's whatever's convenient for them.
They're not afraid to lie, to cheat, or to go to any extreme to have their way. It's about winning, it's about greed, and it's about power. And it's about cowardice. Caving to the powerful religious right, America's megaconglomerates, or whoever else happens to be knocking at the door.
Minnis has the opportunity to show she's not that kind of person. So far, it seems she has failed.
Live in Oregon? Speak out for equal rights! There's a rally scheduled in Salem for July 20th at 6PM, with a "hoped-for surprise guest".