Gay Marriage vs Anti-Equal-Rights Groups

People claiming that gay marriage is going to somehow harm their heterosexual marriages put forth a ballot measure, known as Constituional Amendment 36, to write discrimination into the Oregon constitution. Well, the “NO ON CONSTITUIONAL AMENDMENT 36” is getting lots of attention. Currently, it’s split evenly between the pros and cons on this topic, and groups and individuals are sending in money to support equal rights for all.

Article archived here.Gay donors back Oregon ballot battle

Jen Christensen, PlanetOut Network

SUMMARY: Many gay-friendly groups are sending their checks to Oregon this election season to help defeat an anti-gay marriage initiative on the November ballot.

Many gay-friendly groups are sending their checks to Oregon this election season to help defeat an anti-gay marriage initiative on the November ballot. Political experts said Oregon is the state with the most potential to defeat the proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage.

So far there have been a diverse number of groups spending money on an anti-ballot measure campaign. Gay rights groups like the Human Rights Campaign said they would send $100,000 to No on Constitutional Amendment 36. The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (news – web sites) has already given the group $500,000 for their campaign.

But it’s not just gay rights groups that are sending money. Two thousand individual donors from across the country have sent money to No on Constitutional Amendment 36. So have the American Civil Liberties Union (news – web sites), Planned Parenthood (news – web sites) and the Service Employees International Union.

“This will be the most expensive ballot campaign in our state’s history,” said Rebekah Kassell, the press secretary for the No on Constitutional Amendment 36 group. “We plan to spend at least $2.5 million on the campaign.”

The money will mostly go to fund television spots. Kassell said those spots should be running by the second week of August. The money also supports field offices opened throughout the state.

Kassell said they need the money. Her group will have a tough fight ahead. Their polling shows the state is in a dead heat with 5 percent of the state undecided on the issue. The poll has a 4 percent margin of error.

The Defense of Marriage Coalition collected a record number of signatures to add the anti-marriage initiative to the ballot. If it passed, the measure would legally define marriage as a union between one man and one woman. It would also jeopardize the marital status of more than 3,000 gay couples that legally married in Multnomah County this year.

Kassell said the other side is well-organized, but she said gay rights groups have a long history of successful campaigns in the state.

“We have fought anti-gay campaigns for about 20 years now in Oregon; there is a broad coalition of groups working on these issues,” said Kassell. “We are optimistic this can be defeated, because we have learned that when voters in Oregon hear from both sides on these issues, they consistently tend to vote ‘no’ on anti-gay measures.”

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