An article from my hometown cites a close-by neighborhood to me as the most conservative in Multnomah County. In it, they find two voters who are now Republicans because of abortion and gay marriage. They’d rather not think and have talking points shoved at them from Republicans, rather than to work for change or even try to understand anything.

You can be against abortion, but support a woman’s right to choose.

And gay marriage? Vermont has had 5 years worth of Civil Unions, and has one of the lowest divorce rates in the Nation. You know who does have the lowest divorce rate in the Nation? Massachusetts – the only state that has legalized gay marriage.

People need to wake up, but these sheep won’t bother.

Article archived here
Like conservative area, couple voted their hearts
Their precinct’s votes for president and Measure 36 made it Multnomah County’s most conservative
Thursday, December 23, 2004
For Donna and Earl “Skip” Brand, voting in the 2004 election was simple.

Donna, 69, and Skip, 73, who live near nursery stock lining the hills southwest of Gresham, backed candidates and measures that fell in line with their conservative social values.

The Brands colored in the bubbles next to President George W. Bush, Yes on Measure 36 to ban same-sex marriage in Oregon and Yes on Measure 26-64 to repeal Multnomah County’s income tax.

The Brands’ voting pattern was reflected on kitchen tables throughout this rural swath of unincorporated Multnomah County.

The couple’s election precinct, 5602, ranked as the most conservative in Multnomah County.

More than 61 percent of voters in the precinct voted for Bush, and nearly three-quarters backed Measure 36, a constitutional amendment that prohibits same-sex marriage. Both figures ranked as the highest percentages of all 129 precincts in Multnomah County.

Like their neighbors, the Brands own a big lot around their custom-built home off Richey Road and put a manger scene in their front yard.

The home is built so Donna can get around. She lost most of her left leg when she and her husband were hit by a car in 1991.

Donna and Skip, white-haired grandparents of 13, grew up as Democrats.

She was raised by her mother who ran a boarding house in downtown Gresham. He was born in Southeast Portland. His dad worked for a railroad company.

The Brands married in 1951. She was 16. He was 20.

“They said it would never work,” Donna says. “Without our church, our young married group and faith, it wouldn’t have worked.”

The Brands remained Democrats “until they came in with abortion,” Skip says. “It’s legalized murder.”

After the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision in 1973, the couple re-registered as Republicans.

Skip says he donated to the Oregon Republican Party last year. But he might not do it again. He said he was upset when the party backed off its anti-abortion values.

This election, Skip says he was most pleased with Bush’s re-election and the outcome of Measure 36.

“We think marriage should be between a man and woman,” Donna says. “It just looks like it would ruin the family.”

Ryan Frank: 503-294-5943;

Copyright 2004 Oregon Live. All Rights Reserved.

By walterh

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