Advisory Group to help Basic Rights Oregon weigh ballot decision

| September 12, 2011 | Comments (3)

Basic Rights’ Board convenes community leaders and campaign professionals before deciding whether to gather signatures for a 2012 marriage initiative

Basic Rights Oregon has convened a group of experienced community leaders and campaign professionals to help determine whether to go to the ballot next year. Advice from the Advisory Group, along with input from the LGBT and allied community, will be used by Basic Rights Oregon’s Board of Directors to make a final decision in late October or early November about whether to begin gathering signatures for a freedom to marry ballot initiative for the 2012 general election.

“Deciding whether to go to the ballot is not something we take lightly nor a decision we will make alone,” explains Basic Rights Oregon Executive Director Jeana Frazzini.  “This must be a shared responsibility between Basic Rights Oregon, our coalition partners and the community at large. We want to hear from the experts and leaders on the Advisory Group as well as from the larger LGBT and allied community, because we cannot move forward unless we have a viable ballot measure as well as a supportive and engaged base of support.”

Unlike states such as Iowa and New York where the courts or legislatures have led the way, the only way to achieve the freedom to marry in Oregon is through a ballot measure.  A victory in Oregon could make ours the first state in the country to pass the freedom to marry by a vote of the people, as well as the first state to overturn a constitutional amendment excluding committed same-gender couples from civil marriage.

The Advisory Group will meet this week to determine criteria for making the ballot measure decision, and then will reconvene in late October to review data and make a recommendation to the Basic Rights Board. Meanwhile, Basic Rights will also launch a public survey next week where the LGBT community and allies can provide input about the ballot decision.

Basic Rights Oregon is the state’s largest nonprofit gay and transgender advocacy group. Basic Rights Oregon Education Fund leads educational initiatives to ensure that all lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Oregonians experience equality.

Basic Rights Oregon Advisory Group

 (Organizations are listed for identification purposes only and  are not intended to reflect any organizational endorsements)

  • Ken Allen, AFSCME Council 75
  • Terry Bean, Community Leader
  • BethAnne Darby, Oregon Education Association
  • Caitlin Baggot, Bus Project
  • Laura Calvo, Community Leader
  • Rea Carey, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
  • Antoinette Edwards, PFLAG Black Chapter
  • Dave Fidanque, ACLU Oregon
  • Helena Huang, Oregon Voice
  • Kayse Jama, Center for Intercultural Organizing
  • Michael Kaplan, Cascade AIDS Project
  • Tina Kotek, State Representative
  • Kevin Looper, Political Consultant
  • Francisco Lopez, CAUSA
  • Trent Lutz, Democratic Party of Oregon
  • David Martinez, Community Leader
  • Barbara McCullough-Jones, Portland Q Center
  • Harriet Merrick, Eugene Community Leader
  • Bruce Morris, Human Dignity Coalition in Bend
  • Vickie & Lonnie Read, PFLAG Pendleton
  • Paige Richardson, Political Consultant
  • Joseph Santos-Lyons, Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon
  • Cara Shufelt, Rural Organizing Project
  • Bill Smith, Civitas Public Affairs
  • Jeanne St. John, PFLAG Central Coast
  • Leslie Stone, Southern Oregon Community Leader
  • Arthur Towers, SEIU Local 503
  • Rob Wagner, American Federation of Teachers, Oregon
  • Mark Wiener, Political Consultant
  • Reverend Tara Wilkins, Community of Welcoming Congregations
  • Evan Wolfson, Freedom to Marry

Category: News: Marriage Equality

Comments (3)

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  1. Marissa says:

    When will we know whether we’re going for this or not?

    • admin says:

      During the second week of November, advice from our Strategic Advisory Group, along with input from our online survey, and feedback from town halls will be used by Basic Rights Oregon’s Board of Directors to make a final decision about whether to move forward a ballot measure in 2012 or wait until the next election.

  2. Janet Stephany says:

    As a lesbian who married my partner in Vancouver, B.C., in 2007 on our 15th anniversary, I fully support gay marriage. However, I feel that putting a measure on the ballot to ask the voting community in Oregon to make it legal for gays to marry is not the right approach. I feel strongly that marriage equality should be attained through the legislative process and not through the ballot initiative process.

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