Friday, November 11, 2011

Progress Say What?

After working diligently for three-years building support for marriage equality, Basic Rights Oregon, Oregon's largest gay rights group, has decided against putting the issue up for a vote in 2012.


The group says that feedback from an online survey of over 1,000 people, canvassing the entire state door-to-door, community meetings and two statewide advertising campaigns suggest the the group's "education work to continue."

Jeana Frazzini, executive director of Basic Rights says,  "As far as we have come, which as been significant, we don't yet have the kind of consensus that would indicate a reasonable expectation of success."

It seems that Oregonians are evenly divided on a proposed ballot initiative to legalize gay marriage and to overturn the constitutional ban against same-sex marriage approved by voters in 2004. But Frazzini feels that a weak economy, high rates of unemployment and home foreclosures create a tough climate for social issue political campaigns. And so Basic Rights want to wait until 2014 to push for the legalization of marriage equality in the state.

This news cannot be good news for the more than 3,000 gay and lesbian couples in Oregon who have entered domestic partnerships--legalized by the Legislature in 2007. The partnerships give couples most of the benefits of marriage, but make them feel like second-class citizens because the civil unions do not convey the same status and respect conferred by marriage.

Jeana Frazzini: "There is just too much at stake here. Folks are up for the challenge but want to have a sense that it is winnable."

I seriously hope they make their move soon. Sometimes sitting idly by, and waiting for the right moment, ends up with the right moment having passed you by. I understand that 2014 is not that far off, but with the people of Oregon almost equally divided on the issue, I believe that some of those anti-marriage equality voters might be swayed to vote for equality.

via OregonLive


froggy said...

I noticed one news program had Oregon in the toss up column for 2012. Usually a blue state, like WA. I wonder if they are fearing anti-Obama backlash. No mention of anything happening here.

Anonymous said...

I smell a major rat here. The same thing played out in little Rhode Island a while back.

I was working tightly with MERI on a political strategy. We had a big board in the room with all the representatives and senators listed. The colors blue and green marked sponsors and supporters.

We had the house nailed down tight. I mean really tight.

The Senate was a bit more intractable with Senate President M. Theresa Paiva-Weed voicing her opposition early on.

But it is my contention that could be dealt with. I mean, the Speaker of the House is an openly gay man.

But no, instead MERI leadership was completely dismantled and a political hack put in as leader. That's when I said to hell with them and walked away from it.

RI will have marriage equality, it just won't be via our chickenshit, cowardly legislature, but via the judiciary when someone finally sues over our ridiculous civil union law which has seen only 16 couples opting in for the civil unions.

And a good report came out recently, RI is losing tax revenue because people are marrying outside the state and many have LEFT RI for states where equality exists.

I'm strongly considering moving to New York myself. Be done with this backward state for once and for all.

Wonder Man said...

good point Tony

Biki said...

If we wait for a sure thing, nothing would ever get done. Be brave Oregon-ers, be bold!