SENATE COMMITTEE ON RULES

 

 

June 07, 2005†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Hearing Room B

3:00 P.M.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Tapes 92 - 93

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:†††††††† Sen. Kate Brown, Chair

Sen. Ted Ferrioli, Vice-Chair

Sen. Jason Atkinson

Sen. Charlie Ringo

Sen. Frank Shields

 

MEMBER VISITING:†††††††††††††††††††††† Sen. Ben Westlund††††

 

STAFF PRESENT:†††††††††††††††† Tiffany Harris, Committee Administrator

Katie Lowry, Committee Assistant

 

MEASURE/ISSUES HEARD:††††††††††

SB 1073 Ė Public Hearing and Work Session

 

 

These minutes are in compliance with Senate and House Rules.† Only text enclosed in quotation marks reports a speakerís exact words.† For complete contents, please refer to the tapes.

 

TAPE/#

Speaker

Comments

TAPE 92, A

005

Chair Brown

Calls meeting to order at 3:05 p.m. and opens a public hearing on SB 1073.

SB 1073 Ė PUBLIC HEARING

008

Tiffany Harris

Committee Administrator. Provides an overview of SB 1073. Submits the -1 amendments to SB 1073 (EXHIBIT A).

015

Sen. Frank Morse

Senate District 8. Testifies in support of SB 1073. Explains the -1 amendments.

035

Sen. Charles Starr

Senate District 13. Submits and reads written testimony in opposition to SB 1073 (EXHIBIT B).

089

Sen. Shields

Verifies that the -1 amendments make very clear what is already in SB 1073 and they do not change the original bill. Explains that when someone is authorized to perform a marriage, it doesnít mean they are required to perform the marriage.

096

Sen. Morse

Replies yes. Explains the -1 amendments make it indisputable that those who are licensed to perform marriages have no obligation to perform civil unions.

099

Sen. Shields

Explains that when he was in ministry, nobody could force him to perform any marriage that he didnít want to perform. Discusses the -1 amendments. Thanks Sen. Morse for his testimony.

115

Roey Thorpe

Executive Director, Basic Rights Oregon. Submits and reads written testimony in support of SB 1073 (EXHBIIT C).

175

Rev. Eugene Ross

Conference Minister, Central Pacific Conference of the United Church of Christ. Submits and reads written testimony in support of SB 1073 (EXHIBIT D).

225

David Fidanque

Executive Director, ACLU. States support for SB 1073. Discusses reciprocal benefits legislation (2005). Discusses the campaign in opposition to Measure 36. Submits and explains material from the campaign (EXHIBIT E). Discusses the November, 2004 Oregon State Voterís Pamphlet. Urges committee to vote yes on SB 1073.

284

Sen. Atkinson

Points out that SB 1073 is broad. Asks if that is by design so that gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people can all take advantage of a civil union.

289

Thorpe

Explains it means the gender of the two partners would not be a condition of the responsibilities and protections of marriage.

293

Chair Brown

Believes the same laws would apply to married couples also. Explains that two people cannot be married and enter into a civil union as well.

303

Stella Guenther

Resident, Benton County. Testifies in opposition to SB 1073.

352

J.J. Quinlivan

Resident, Corvallis. Submits and highlights written testimony in opposition to SB 1073 (EXHIBIT F).

408

James Russell

Resident, Sweet Home. Submits and reads written testimony in opposition to SB 1073 (EXHIBIT G).

TAPE 93, A

001

Russell

Continues reading submitted testimony in opposition to SB 1073.

024

Chair Brown

Mentions that witness believes the government should provide homosexuals with rights. Asks witness how that should be done.

026

Russell

Explains he is not familiar with opportunities. States SB 1073 goes too far because it redefines the term marriage.

033

Theresa Gevurtz

Citizen. Submits and reads written testimony in support of SB 1073 (EXHIBIT H).

075

Kelly Burke

Citizen. Submits and reads written testimony in support of SB 1073 (EXHIBIT I).

085

Chair Brown

Asks how many dependents.

086

Burke

Replies 19.

088

Burke

Continues reading submitted testimony.

112

Beth Allen

Attorney. Submits and reads written testimony in support of SB 1073 (EXHIBIT J).

166

Sen. Westlund

Makes comments regarding witnessí testimony.

171

Gevurtz

Responds.

182

Michael Howden

Stronger Families For Oregon. Testifies in opposition to SB 1073.

200

Chair Brown

Asks why the Oregon Family Council and the Defense of Marriage Coalition said during the campaign that Ballot Measure 36 specifically did not apply to civil unions. Reads quote from Tim Nashif in the Bend Bulletin from August 20, 2004. Asks if witness disagrees with the position of the Defense of Marriage Coalition and the Oregon Family Council during the campaign.

210

Howden

Confirms Measure 36 did not address the term civil unions.

211

Chair Brown

Answers correct. Verifies that Measure 36 does not prohibit civil unions.

212

Howden

Confirms this. Explains that Stronger Families For Oregon believes that SB 1073 would violate the intention of the voters. Discusses quotes during Measure 36.

228

Chair Brown

Verifies that witness is supportive of Oregonians here seeking civil rights.

229

Howden

Replies he is supportive of every Oregonian accessing the process.

230

Howden

Responds to earlier comments. Makes closing remarks.

251

Tootie Smith

Oregon Family Council. Submits and reads written testimony in opposition to SB 1073 (EXHIBIT K). Submits written testimony on behalf of Herbert G. Grey, Attorney at Law, in opposition to SB 1073 (EXHIBIT L).

265

Chair Brown

Asks if the Oregon Family Council would support the bill if the 800-1,000 rights were delineated statute by statute.

268

Smith

Explains the Oregon Family Council would be supportive of reciprocal benefits of all Oregonians who currently cannot take advantage of marriage.

272

Chair Brown

Points out that the reciprocal beneficiariesí bill covers about 11 benefits. Explains this committee is talking about 1,000 benefits. Expresses concerns regarding children in custody and divorce proceedings. Asks if witness believes there should be a law on the books to protect the legal rights of children.

277

Smith

Believes the legal rights of children are protected by the state of Oregon and social services. Explains that only certain benefits were outlined in the reciprocal beneficiariesí bill because of the large fiscal impact. Discusses fiscal analysis done in Vermont.

296

Chair Brown

Asks if witness heard Mr. Little, a former Republican legislator from Vermont, when he testified on SB 1000 (2005).

297

Smith

Explains she was aware he was here, but does not remember his testimony.

298

Chair Brown

Explains Vermont passed both a civil unions bill as well as a reciprocal beneficiariesí bill. Believes no one has used the reciprocal beneficiariesí bill in Vermont over the last five years. Believes this shows a reciprocal beneficiariesí bill does not provide the legal protection that couples and parties need.

307

Smith

Explains that if both types of bills were passed, perhaps one bill provided more benefits to a person than another. †Discusses reciprocal benefits law in Hawaii. Discusses Measure 36. Believes HB 3476 (2005) is the best approach.

325

Chair Brown

Asks what group the witness is representing today.

326

Smith

Replies the Oregon Family Council.

328

Chair Brown

Verifies that is the same organization that Tim Nashif is with.

329

Smith

Believes that to be true.

330

Chair Brown

Reads quotes Tim Nashif said during the campaign for Measure 36. Asks if the Oregon Family Council is now changing its position or if Mr. Nashif was speaking outside of the organization when he said that same sex couples should seek marriage like rights such as civil unions.

345

Smith

Discusses different interpretations of civil unions. Believes SB 1000 (2005) has defined civil unions and that they were not defined during the Measure 36 campaign.

365

Chair Brown

Repeats quote by Tim Nashif. Verifies that witness believes people didnít have a sense of what that meant during the campaign. Explains that is why HB 3476 (2005) was drafted.

368

Smith

Reiterates belief that civil unions were not defined during the Measure 36 campaign.

378

Chair Brown

Reads quote from Georgine Rice, spokesperson for the Defense of Marriage Coalition. Asks if witness believes that people didnít have a sense of what was meant by the quote.

383

Smith

Believes that quote was not widely picked up in the press and media and that people didnít know what civil unions were like in Vermont. Believes there still to be confusion about what civil unions and reciprocal benefits are to a lot of Oregonians.

391

Chair Brown

Asks why Measure 36 didnít specifically preclude civil unions if that was the intent of the measure.

395

Smith

Replies she does not know. Believes the intent of Measure 36 was to solemnize marriage between one man and one woman.

398

Chair Brown

States that Mr. Nashif said they did that. Repeats quote.

401

Smith

States that they felt marriage needed defended.

403

Bob Castagna

General Counsel and Executive Director, Oregon Catholic Conference. Submits informational packet in opposition (EXHIBIT M). Reads written testimony included in informational packet.

TAPE 92, B

001

Castagna

Continues reading submitted testimony.

030

Chair Brown

Believes that there are many heterosexual couples that use surrogacy. Asks if that is correct.

031

Castagna

Replies yes. States that the contracts themselves are not legally enforceable. States they violate other Oregon statutes.

034

Sen. Ringo

Refers to previously submitted material (EXHIBIT E). Asks if the witnesses have had a chance to see the list of 100 rights, responsibilities, and protections.

039

Castagna

Replies yes.

040

Sen. Ringo

Asks if Ms. Smith has seen the list.

041

Smith

Replies no.

042

Sen. Ringo

Says they were in the Voterís Pamphlet. Asks if there is another copy.

043

Sen. Ringo

Asks Mr. Castagna if he has seen this list.

044

Castagna

Recalls seeing them in the Voterís Pamphlet. Believes that some of them are duplicative of others that appeared on other pages in the Voterís Pamphlet.

045

Sen. Ringo

Wants to look at the list of 100.

046

Castagna

States he hasnít seen this list.

047

Sen. Ringo

Asks witnesses to imagine there is a heterosexual couple that has been married for 20 years and a homosexual couple that has had a committed relationship for 20 years. Asks witnesses to point out which of the listed rights should not apply to the homosexual couple that has been together for 20 years. Points out an example regarding consent or refusal of consent of an autopsy on a partnerís body.

051

Smith

Believes that may be something that is listed in HB 3476 (2005).

052

Sen. Ringo

Asks if witness believes that consenting to an autopsy is part of HB 3476 (2005).

053

Smith

Replies yes and all of the rights that go with it. Discusses rights for people and comments on Measure 36.†

060

Sen. Ringo

Reiterates question regarding which right should not be afforded to a homosexual couple who has had a committed relationship for 20 years.

066

Smith

Believes that the question is redundant and designed to embarrass the panel. Reiterates position of the Oregon Family Council. Believes it is a waste of time to look at a contrived list of 100 rights and benefits that a minority of Oregonians want.

072

Sen. Ringo

Comments it may be a waste of time for the witness, but it is not a waste of time for the Oregonians who want these rights conferred upon them by law. Discusses rights and benefits not received by homosexual couple. Reiterates these are rights that matter to Oregonians.

087

Howden

Appreciates Sen. Ringoís question. Explains he did not see this list today, but that he saw the list in the Voterís Pamphlet. Discusses the institution of marriage. Expresses concerns with fatherhood. Submits question of whether a child has a right to both a mother and a father.

105

Castagna

Believes the rights that many gay and lesbian couples seek can be arranged for through contracts, wills, etc. Discusses the reciprocal beneficiariesí law in Hawaii.

116

Chair Brown

Points out that during the campaign, the proponents of Measure 36 didnít prohibit civil unions. Expresses concern that people are now saying that civil unions violate the will of the voters. Mentions that Vermont has had civil unions in place for five years and believes that most Oregonians have a good understanding of what civil unions are.

135

Sen. Ringo

Remarks there are a lot of benefits that cannot be contracted for. Provides examples.

145

Castagna

Explains that the reciprocal beneficiary law in Hawaii is broader than HB 3476 (2005), and it includes items such as health insurance benefits, etc. Suggests HB 3476 (2005) could be amended to be similar to Hawaiiís statute.

150

Chair Brown

States the committee looks forward to HB 3476 (2005) coming over from the House.

151

Sen. Shields

Wonders if the witnesses have looked at the list of 100 rights and benefits.

152

Chair Brown

States the committee has already discussed that list.

160

Peggy Senger Parsons

Pastor, Freedom Friends Church, Salem. Submits and reads written testimony in support of SB 1073 (EXHIBIT N).

201

Steve Wagenhoffer

Citizen. Testifies in support of SB 1073. Relates personal story.

234

Kento Azegami

Portland State College Democrats. Testifies in support of SB 1073. Shares statistics. Relates personal story. Submits written testimony (EXHIBIT O).

300

Jonathan Horton

Resident, McMinnville. Testifies in opposition to SB 1073. Reads passage from Bible (Romans 1:24-32). Submits and refers to written testimony (EXHIBIT P).

380

Isaac Horton

Resident, McMinnville. Submits and reads written testimony in opposition to SB 1073 (EXHIBIT Q).

TAPE 93, B

001

I. Horton

Continues reading submitted testimony.

010

Darrel Adams

Resident, Aumsville. Submits and reads written testimony in opposition to SB 1073 (EXHIBIT R).

045

Kathy Eaton

Governance Chair, League of Women Voters of Oregon. Submits and reads written testimony in support of SB 1073 (EXHIBIT S).

055

Liz Stanhope

Resident, Salem. Testifies in support of SB 1073.

064

Rebecca Flynn

Citizen. Testifies in support of SB 1073. Relates personal story.

089

Andi Miller

Executive Director, Common Cause Oregon. Testifies in support of SB 1073. Relates personal story of Adair Robinson-Miller.†

102

Betty Haus

American Association of University Women of Oregon. Testifies in support of SB 1073.

110

Nina Rhea

Resident, Portland. Testifies in opposition to SB 1073. Submits written testimony (EXHIBIT T).

135

Miranda Yarbrough

Resident, Salem. Submits and summarizes written testimony in opposition to SB 1073 (EXHIBIT U).

160

Audrey Engel

Resident, Salem. Testifies in opposition to SB 1073. Submits written testimony (EXHIBIT V).

175

Sen. Westlund

Comments that all of the young people who have testified today have done a great job. Thanks them for being here.

178

Sen. Ringo

Believes that it is good for them to come and give their opinion on the subject. Comments he has received email from people opposed to SB 1073 who have never met anybody who is gay or lesbian. Suggests that witness will meet people who are gay and lesbian, and that may impact the witnessí opinion some.

191

Rhea

Makes comments.

194

Engel

Responds.

202

Michael Marsh

Citizen. Testifies in opposition to SB 1073.

222

Susan Anderson

Resident, Eugene. States opposition to SB 1073. Defers time to Nancy Hansen. Submits written testimony (EXHIBIT W).

227

Nancy Hansen

Resident, Eugene. Relates personal story. Submits written testimony in opposition to SB 1073 (EXHIBIT X).

247

Chair Brown

Asks if witness supports the reciprocal beneficiariesí bill.

248

Hansen

Replies yes. Believes it is a reasonable compromise.

260

Chair Brown

Closes the public hearing and opens a work session on SB 1073.

The following material is submitted for the record without public testimony:

 

Kathy Fritts

Resident, Salem. Submits written testimony in opposition to SB 1073 (EXHIBIT Y).

 

Betsy Schultz

Resident, Springfield. Submits written testimony in opposition to SB 1073 (EXHIBIT Z).

SB 1073 Ė WORK SESSION

265

Sen. Shields

MOTION:† Moves to ADOPT SB 1073-1 amendments dated 06/03/05.

266

Sen. Ferrioli

†Asks what the -1 amendments do.

267

Tiffany Harris

Committee Administrator. Explains the -1 amendments.

280

 

VOTE:† 5-0-0

 

Chair Brown

Hearing no objection, declares the motion CARRIED.

281

Sen. Shields

MOTION:† Moves SB 1073 to the floor with a DO PASS AS AMENDED recommendation.

282

Sen. Shields

Makes comments.

285

 

VOTE:† 3-2-0

AYE:†††††††† ††††††3 - Ringo, Shields, Brown

NAY:†††††††††††††† 2 - Atkinson, Ferrioli

 

Chair Brown

The motion CARRIES.

SEN. MORSE, SEN. BROWN, SEN. WESTLUND, AND SEN. BATES will lead discussion on the floor.

299

Chair Brown

Closes the work session on SB 1073 and adjourns the meeting at 4:55 p.m.

 

EXHIBIT SUMMARY

 

A.     SB 1073, -1 amendments, staff, 1 p

B.     SB 1073, written testimony, Sen. Charles Starr, 3 pp

C.     SB 1073, written testimony, Roey Thorpe, 7 pp

D.    SB 1073, written testimony, Eugene Ross, 1 p

E.     SB 1073, written testimony, David Fidanque, 1 p

F.      SB 1073, written testimony, J.J. Quinlivan, 2 pp

G.    SB 1073, written testimony, James Russell, 2 pp

H.    SB 1073, written testimony, Theresa Gevurtz, 2 pp

I.       SB 1073, written testimony, Kelly Burke, 2 pp

J.      SB 1073, written testimony, Beth Allen, 2 pp

K.    SB 1073, written testimony, Tootie Smith, 3 pp

L.     SB 1073, written testimony of Herbert G. Grey, Tootie Smith, 5 pp

M.  SB 1073, informational packet, Bob Castagna, 11 pp

N.    SB 1073, written testimony, Peggy Senger Parsons, 1 p

O.    SB 1073, written testimony, Kento Azegami, 11 pp

P.      SB 1073, written testimony, Jonathan Horton, 3 pp

Q.    SB 1073, written testimony, Isaac Horton, 3 pp

R.    SB 1073, written testimony, Darrel Adams, 2 pp

S.      SB 1073, written testimony, Kathy Eaton, 1 p

T.     SB 1073, written testimony, Nina Rhea, 2 pp

U.     SB 1073, written testimony, Miranda Yarbrough, 2 pp

V.     SB 1073, written testimony, Audrey Engel, 12 pp

W.   SB 1073, written testimony, Susan Anderson, 1 p

X.     SB 1073, written testimony, Nancy Hansen, 1 p

Y.     SB 1073, written testimony, Kathy Fritts, 2 pp

Z.      SB 1073, written testimony, Betsy Schultz, 1 p