With a case pending in federal court—and initiative petition sheets ready to turn in should a vote be necessary—2014 will be remembered as the year we won the freedom to marry in Oregon. But unfortunately, those who oppose equality are trying to undermine the freedom to marry through a measure that would write discrimination into Oregon law.
The Oregon Family Council is working to qualify an Arizona- style discrimination initiative, which would allow businesses to deny goods and services to people because of who they are and whom they love. This measure would carve out an exception to our current anti-discrimination laws so that corporations and commercial businesses could discriminate against gay and lesbian couples.
WHY THIS MEASURE IS WRONG FOR OREGON
Treating people differently based on who they are is discrimination. As a state and a nation, we have decided that discrimination is counter to who we are and the values we share. Oregonians believe in treating others as we ourselves would want to be treated.
Religious beliefs don’t entitle any of us to discriminate against others. Freedom means freedom for everyone, and it is wrong to treat people differently because of who they are and whom they love.
“[D]iscrimination should not be given legal cover. That’s what the Protect Religious Freedom Initiative is all about. Oregonians should decline to help the measure reach the ballot, and defeat it soundly if it does.” Eugene Register Guard Editorial, April 13, 2014
What is happening with the measure now?
- On March 7, the Oregon Attorney General’s office released a Certified Ballot Title which includes the language voters would read on signature sheets and eventually on the ballot. This language includes title, summary, and result of “no” and “yes” votes.
- Both proponents and opponents of “IP 52”—the number assigned to this proposed measure before it qualifies for the ballot—have filed Petitions for Review to the Oregon Supreme Court. The Oregon Supreme Court may decide to send the ballot title back to the AG for revision or let it stand as currently written.
- Once the language of the measure is settled, proponents can begin gathering signatures. They have until July 3 to gather 87,213 valid signatures necessary to qualify for the November ballot.
- On May 2, Oregon United Against Discrimination was launched as a broad coalition of individuals and organizations working to defend against discrimination in Oregon.
Watch this video from KATU’s Your Voice Your Vote where Sharon Gary-Smith of the McKenzie River Gathering Foundation calls this proposed measure what it really is: discrimination.
And view the first ad from Oregon United Against Discrimination featuring long time community leader and civil rights activist Kathleen Saadat.
Click here to join the campaign to defeat discrimination.