Oregonians Split On Marriage Equality, Marijuana

OregonLGBT groups in Oregon last year decided not to pursue a 2012 ballot initiative legalizing marriage equality because they felt they "must allow our education work to continue" to win over a wary public.

The latest Public Policy Polling survey suggests they did the right thing. Even though more respondents, 46%, say they favor same-sex nuptials, a worrisomely close 45% said no way.

The raw numbers:

Oregon narrowly favors legal gay marriage, with 46% supporting it and 45% opposed. Democrats support it 74-20, Republicans oppose it 11-80 and independents oppose it 38-48. Men oppose legalization 45-48 but women support it 48- 42.

When voters are asked whether they support full gay marriage, civil unions only or no legal recognition at all of gay couples, 44% support gay marriage, 30% support civil unions but not gay marriage, and just 23% say there should be no legal recognition of gay marriage.

That same poll also shows that 46% of Oregon oppose marijuana legalization, while 43% support legalization, with Democrats favoring legalization far more than Republicans: 56% versus 19%.

Here's the PDF of PPP's survey.


  1. Mike says

    You can not trust a mob of people to vote for LGBT human rights and gay marriage . Do you think the south would have voted to free slaves 200 years ago? NO is the answer. It took a Civil War in 1864 to free the slaves in America and the blacks Americans who came from that still have to fight for their rights today. Only great men like President Abraham Lincoln and President Obama have the power to free slaves and gays.

  2. says

    Can we please refer to it as cannabis?

    it needs to be legalized. and it needs to be farmed, THC-free, for the wealth of uses it provides, AND it grows at an astonishing rate.
    farm hemp, save trees.

    and legalize cannabis use. heck, TAX IT. MAKE MONEY FOR THE COUNTRY.

    take the criminals out of the equation.

  3. kpo5 says

    “Republicans oppose it 11-80″

    That’s downright terrifying.

    If I were in GOProud or the LCR (don’t worry, I like myself and my parents do, too), those percentages would be enough to make me flip my vote until the community achieved equality. Then I could go back to being a greedy trust fund baby.

  4. George says

    I think Basic Rights Oregon was way too timid in putting off this vote. If this were a campaign issue in this Presidential election year in this state, it would have garnered much more support. Watch BRO stupidly try to overturn it in 2014 with Obama fatigue in an off-year election when minorities and liberals tend not to vote. That’s when they will try to put it on the ballot. BRO has been a terrible advocate for gay marriage in Oregon. They really stepped in it with this one.

  5. Brian from Tucson says

    The city of Portland is very liberal and would pass marriage equality in an instant. But look at the map of Oregon, and the further east and south you go, the more conservative it becomes. The Mormon influence is very strong in eastern Oregon and throughout the basin and range areas of the West. Where Mormonism is strong, gay rights are weak…..Prop 8 in California was not the only effort the Mormons have put into demonizing gays.

  6. Bob says

    I have been in Portberg… errh, Portland, for a year. Maybe there was once a strong Gay community here, and it died with its leaders in the 80s, maybe there never was. As for Basic Rights Oregon, all I see is the “wounded lesbian mentality” that made the fight against Prop 8 so weak in CA.
    Portlanders pride themselves in LOOKING wierd, but, sorry, it’s closer to Kansas, to me, in terms of intellectual curiousity and striving, or (heaven forbid!!!) shaking up the local status quo.
    Meanwhile, WA is going to have marriage on the ballot, so Portland TV will be inundated with the ads, to cover its WA suburbs. Maybe the passive queers here will get energized by that!

  7. Dearcomrade says

    @Bob, Sorry to disagree with your perception of Portland, but perhaps you need to get out more. Portland once had a small cluster of Gay clubs, but they have pretty much dispersed across the city. I take that as a very good sign of community acceptance. You can walk through our Pearl District some days and you would think you are in the Castro.

    Our Pride parade is huge, The Portland Gay Men’s Chorus is fantastic. Our community paper “Just Out” has been a staple since 1983 and just newly revamped. Over 8 gay dance clubs & taverns right downtown, Darcelle XV Showplace (Opened in 1967) The Eagle north side, Hobo’s and Starky’s Restaurant, The Old Wives Tale, numerous gay owned coffee shops, The Metropolitan Community Church and our gay mayor Sam Adams. Portland is about the Gayest City in the USA.

    Let’s not forget the Portland Latino Gay Pride celebration July 19 to 22.

  8. ratbastard says

    The Pacific Northwest is an interesting place. On the one hand it has the lowest rate of people who identify themselves as religious [New England is the least religious region of the U.S.] and is quite libertarian and even ‘progressive’, but at the same time is one of the national centers for neo-Nazis and white supremacist.

  9. Bob says

    Portlanders— sorry.
    40 years in San Francisco, LA, NYC, West Hollywood give me my own idea of a community. Altogether, Portlanders SHOCK me with their reluctance to take criticism as the start of a reasonable discussion. I also have a hard time with 60 yr olds acting like 80 yr olds in CA. Pride parades and drag bars do not make a vibrant modern community, nor do they create the political power to legalize marriage. If you can suggest places where reasonably modern folks of mixed ages congregate and talk, please help me out. Thanks

  10. Dearcomrade says

    @Bob. With the exception of NYC (where my husband & I were married last month) the other cities you have lived in don’t appear to have enough of a community to create the political power to legalize marriage either.

    In Portland I would recommend you try The Q Center, The Metropolitan Community Church and yes even the less than spectacular Basic Rights Oregon. Perhaps your voice could help make them a more effective organization :)

  11. Armando says

    I would not be shocked by people not being welcoming when you BEGIN a discussion with criticism. Coming into town and talking about why all the other cities you’ve lived in are better might not be the best way to develop your connection to a community.

    You might be right about Portland, I’ve never been there, but by what you write, you make me wonder.

  12. Chad says

    I think what DEARCOMRADE doesn’t quite get is that Portland is very isolated from the state and the urban-rural divide is huge. Even the immediate surrounding suburbs are quite conservative. They may slightly vote democratic when it comes to presidential elections but gay marriage is a whole new ballgame.

  13. Dearcomrade says

    @Chad. I understand the difference between Portland & other parts of the state. I am a transplanted New Yorker who has lived in Oregon for 20 years, 3/4 of it in the central Willamette Valley. Every state has conservative rural areas.

    I hope Bob can find the community he seeks and I think my adopted city of Portland is a pretty open and accepting one.

    Marriage equality in America is inevitable and the progress towards it has been moving pretty quickly when you compare it to the civil rights struggles others have faced.

    This quote pretty much sums up the job we all have ahead of us:

    “[T]he job of the gay community is not to deal with extremists who would castigate us or put us on an island and drop an H-bomb on us. The fact of the matter is that there is a small percentage of people in America who understand the true nature of the homosexual community. There is another small percentage who will never understand us. Our job is not to get those people who dislike us to love us. Nor was our aim in the civil rights movement to get prejudiced white people to love us. Our aim was to try to create the kind of America, legislatively, morally, and psychologically, such that even though some whites continued to hate us, they could not openly manifest that hate. That’s our job today: to control the extent to which people can publicly manifest antigay sentiment.”
    ~Bayard Rustin; From Montgomery to Stonewall (1986)

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