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What Rights Come with an Oregon Domestic Partnership?

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Question: What Rights Come with an Oregon Domestic Partnership?
Beginning January 1, 2008 Oregon will allow gay and lesbian couples to register as domestic partners. What rights will domestic partners have?
Answer: A domestic partnership creates a legal relationship, similar to marriage, that grants gay and lesbian couples the same privileges, immunities, rights and benefits as married couples in the state of Oregon.

It only applies to Oregon law, and is not transferable outside the state boundary. For example, Oregon couple will be able to file joint state income tax returns, but will still have to file singly on the federal return. Couples will not be eligible for each other's social security or Medicare benefits.

What Rights Come with Domestic Partnerships?

According to Basic Rights Oregon more than 500 rights will be available to gay and lesbian couples who enter into domestic partnerships. Here are a few:
  • Right to make health care decision for partner
  • Right to visit partner in hospital
  • Right to sue for wrongful death
  • Right to consent or refuse autopsy of partner's body
  • Right to be buried in cemetery plot with partner
  • Right to make funeral arrangements for partner
  • Right to inherit deceased partner's estate
  • Right to visit in long-term care facility
  • Automatic "authorized driver" on partner's car rental
  • Right to coverage on partner's insurance plan
  • Protection of home in the case of partner's bankruptcy
  • Private conversations are protected in court
  • Right to access partner's death certificate
  • Right to personal effects from deceased partner's body
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