Oregon LGBT Rights Group Decides Not to Pursue Marriage Ballot Measure in 2012

Basic Rights Oregon said in a press release yesterday that education of the public about same-sex marriage must be more comprehensive before it will pursue a ballot measure to achieve marriage equality, and that efforts toward such a measure in 2012 would be dropped:

OregonIn Oregon, the only path to allowing same-gender couples to join in civil marriage is through the ballot. It is not a question of if we will cross this threshold, but when.

We have considered the possibility of putting this issue on the ballot for the 2012 election. However several factors, including the expense of waging a statewide political campaign in the midst of an economic crisis, led us to conclude that we are better off extending our education campaign and building momentum for a later election.

Ballot measures in Oregon have historically been used to attack the gay and transgender community. Today, we are finally in the driver’s seat, deciding when to go forward with a proactive ballot measure to achieve equality, instead of just fighting back. That presents our community with a tremendous opportunity and an immense responsibility.

To reach this decision, we evaluated a variety of data including an online survey with over 1,000 respondents from across Oregon. We convened a group of community leaders and campaign professionals, and held town halls in communities around the state.

The feedback we have overwhelmingly heard is that we must allow our education work to continue. The progress we’ve made in increasing support for the freedom to marry will only get better in the next two years.

Basic Rights Oregon also said it "has led a proactive community education campaign to build public support for the freedom to marry" for the last three years.


  1. Abel says

    I think this is a wise decision. We’re not quite at the popular support level we need to do this, and we shouldn’t risk another setback at this point. It’s gonna come, it’s just hard to be patient. Bless all who work for equality.

  2. Ken says

    Disappointing but maybe for the best. Focus on winning in Maine rather than spreading the resources too thin. Hopefully everything in Maine is still on track because I think it is important we have a pro active ballot measure somewhere that would legalize same sex marriage rather than always fighting measures that make it even more illegal. I also think we’ve got a shot at stopping the constitutional amendment in Minnesota despite the recent horrible poll numbers there.

  3. Vanessa says

    “gay and transgender community”? WTF are they talking about? That’s 2 different communities. It’s funny that they lump gays in with transgenders who are mostly not gay but they are eliminating the reference to bis and lesbians, who both properly are considered as part of one single homosexual community.

    Call it gay, call it gay and lesbian call it LGB, but do not try to pretend that gays and crossdressers and transsexuals are the same.

  4. Brad says

    Sigh! Another group wanting to “play it safe”. When congress-members started pursuing the repeal of DADT, HRC said much the same thing. It’s not a good time. If not now when? Basic Rights Oregon is a WORTHLESS organization. They did a terrible job of fighting against the same-sex marriage ban initiative. They had double the amount of money in their treasure chest as their opponents and yet couldn’t even get commercials on Oregon TV’s with any frequency. The other side had hateful commercial after commercial hitting the airwaves and guess who won? BRO does an excellent job of raising money to pay their expensive director and managers and that’s about all their good for.

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