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Side Notes 4/22-4/29

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Marriage equality will continue to be the law of the land in Oregon, despite the best efforts of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM). The conservative activist group, which opposes extending civil marriage rights to same-sex couples, had asked the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene in Oregon. The court's response: "Petition denied." No one seems surprised that the court declined to get involved. The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to take on a slate of marriage cases from Michigan, Kentucky, and Tennessee on April 28. The court will consider whether states are obligated to perform and/or recognize same-sex marriages. A ruling is expected in June or July, but regardless of the outcome, it is not likely to affect marriage law in Oregon.

The Oregon Association of Chiefs of Police is throwing its support behind legislation aimed at ending profiling. House Bill 2002 would require the Oregon Criminal Justice Commission to "establish independent procedures for receiving and recording profiling complaints." The House Committee on the Judiciary also approved an amendment April 20 that would create a Law Enforcement Working Group to help roll out new policies. The bill now moves on to the Sub Joint Ways and Means Committee on Public Safety, then the full Ways and Means Committee, and then to a vote from the full legislature.

Speaking of law and disorder, the Oregon Senate will hold a lengthy public hearing April 22 on Senate Bill 941, which would require background checks for the private sale of firearms. The Senate was criticized after initially only offering two hours for public comment, reportedly leaving out members of the public who had travelled long distances in order to give their testimony. Wednesday's open public hearing will run from 3 to 7 pm. The legislature has also held public hearings on bills relating to paid sick leave and minimum wage.

About The Author

Erin Rook

Erin is the Source Weekly's Associate Editor. Before moving to Bend in 2013, Erin worked as a writer and editor for publications in Portland including PQ Monthly and Just Out. He has also written for the Willamette Week, El Hispanic News, Travel Portland, OUT City, Boston magazine and the Taunton Daily Gazette...

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