Oregon

Gay Marriage Supporters Encouraged By Ruling

OPB | June 27, 2013 11:10 a.m. | Portland

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Gay marriage supporters in Oregon are encouraged by Wednesday’s rulings. Jeanna Frazzini is the  Executive Director of Basic Rights Oregon.  She says public opinion has shifted quickly on same-sex marriage. 

She explained, “The most recent public polling that I saw that was Oregon-specific was in December of 2012 that showed 54 percent support for the freedom to marry, 40 percent opposition.  Just one year ago, we were looking at public polling numbers that indicated support was not yet over 50 percent and that the state was evenly divided.”  

Frazzini notes the Supreme Court decision changes nothing for gay and lesbian couples in Oregon today. Her group is working on a 2014 ballot measure to overturn Oregon’s Measure 36.  Voters passed that initiative in 2004. It limits marriage to one man and one woman. 

David Fidanque is the head of the ACLU of Oregon.  His group supports the Basic Rights Oregon campaign. But he notes that Oregon law does not, at the moment, offer marriage as an option for gay couples. And Fidanque says some might choose to move to Washington, where they can marry legally.  He says he finds that an unsatisfactory alternative. 

He said, “You know, a lot of families don’t have that luxury. If your work is in Grants Pass or Roseburg, or Baker City, what option do you have? You need to be where you can earn a living, and you need to protect your family a best you can.”

Jeanna Frazzini says petitions for the 2014 measure should be ready soon. Signatures must be gathered by July of next year. 

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