It’s a tale of two states. Two very similar Pacific Northwest states, but in one, a renewed battle over allowing gay marriage has suddenly been delayed, and in the other, the fight has quickly intensified.
In Oregon, the gay rights advocacy group Basic Rights Oregon announced last month that it will not go forward with a 2012 ballot measure campaign to overturn 2004’s ballot Measure 36, which defined marriage as legally recognized between one man and one woman.
In Washington, however, gay marriage backers last month rolled out a campaign to pressure the state Legislature in 2012 to legalize marriage for lesbian and gay couples.
In both states, Christian groups seeking to preserve traditional one-man, one-woman marriage reiterated that they stand ready to act to whatever and whenever such challenges happen.
“We are relieved that Basic Rights has postponed their effort to redefine marriage, but the operative word is ‘postponed,’ ’’ said spokesperson Teresa Harke of the Oregon Family Council, which had been anticipating a 2012 ballot measure fight. “They’ve made it clear in their press release and other public statements that a battle to change marriage is coming. Therefore, we will remain vigilant in our efforts to educate Oregonians about the importance of protecting marriage and the impact that redefining marriage can have on society.”
“This is a time for Christians and conservatives in Washington State to decide what they believe,” wrote Gary Randall to supporters of his Faith & Freedom Network and Foundation, a leading voice in the Protect Marriage Washington coalition. “I believe many of you already know you firmly believe in marriage as between one man and one woman. You will not be convinced otherwise. I and the others in our Defense of Marriage ‘Alliance’ are committed to take this all the way. Should (gay marriage proponent, state Sen. Ed) Murray get this through the Legislature — and that is not a given even though the numbers seem to favor him — we will file an initiative or referendum and take it to the people of the state.”
Murray, a Seattle resident who is himself openly homosexual, was a leader in successful legislative efforts to enact in 2009 an “everything but marriage” domestic partnership law in Washington. On Nov. 12 at a news conference in Bellevue, Murray said the time has now come to secure the final step of making marriage legal for gays, as it now is in seven other states and the District of Columbia.
Murray said he and other lawmakers who support his effort to redefine marriage will hold suburban-type town hall meetings in such locales as Vancouver, Puyallup, Lakewood and Gig Harbor — then all across the state, having a “conversation” with the people of Washington, asking for their support in re-defining marriage.
Randall wrote that Murray and those seeking to re-definite marriage “feel they have Seattle wrapped up,” and so will now be campaigning for the rest of the state.
According to the Seattle Times, the chances of passing such legislation appear to be greater in the state House of Representatives, where Democrats hold a 56-42 advantage, but could be tougher in the state Senate. Although Democrats hold a 27-22 majority in the Senate, some conservative Democrats from suburban areas have sideD with Republicans on issues pertaining to rights to same-sex couples.
While Washington’s gay marriage campaign will target the Legislature, the whole matter could eventually wind up on a statewide ballot next fall — either because a referendum clause is necessary to get enough legislative votes, or if opponents secure signatures to challenge it.
Any such election would be closely watched by the rest of the nation, as such battles for gay marriage have not survived a public vote in any state to date.
In Oregon, a 2012 fight had been expected because Basic Rights Oregon last spring ran its second statewide TV ad campaign — an expenditure of hundreds of thousands of dollars — aimed at shifting attitudes toward same-sex marriage. The group ran a similar campaign in 2010 and has been working more than two years through community meetings, neighborhood camvassing, mailings and more.
According to Oregon Family Council, the decision by Basic Rights Oregon not to pursue a 2012 ballot measure “reportedly was influenced by our current economic recession.”
Tim Nashif of the Oregon Family Council told an estimated 400 pastors last April at a luncheon in Salem that the people behind the successful 2004 statewide vote to preserve traditional marriage were dedicated to responding to any new challenge.
“Even though we don’t want to fight another battle, we’ll do it and we’ll fight it as hard as we can,” Nashif told the crowd.
In an interview earlier this year with cheap cialis soft tabs Christian News Northwest, Jack Louman, the council’s executive director, agreed. “If it has to be done, we’re going to fight like nobody’s business.”
Where the Oregon public now stands on the whole matter is in apparent dispute, depending on which poll is cited.
Oregon Family Council commissioned a statewide survey by the Hoffman Research Group, and it showed last spring that 50 percent of voters would preserve traditional marriage, 45 percent would vote to redefine marriage and 5 percent were undecided. Two months later The Oregonian published a survey by Public Policy Polling, which found that 48 percent of Oregon voters support same-sex marriage and 42 percent oppose it.doxycycline 200 mg pricedoxycycline 50 mg pricedoxycycline online pharmacy canada brand viagra cost per pill walmart cialis online bestellen doxycycline hyclate generic namedoxycycline monohydrate generic brand viagra online uk buy brand viagra dublin buy domperidone online australia doxycycline 100 mg price cvs