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Oregon advocacy group considers ballot initiative to legalize same-sex marriage


Staff Reports

EUGENE, Ore. — Basic Rights Oregon, the state’s largest LGBTQ advocacy group, is considering launching a ballot initiative to overturn Oregon’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, reported the Eugene Register-Guard.

In the November 2004 general election, Oregon was among 11 states that passed ballot measures banning same-sex marriage — 57 percent of the state’s voters approved the measure.

But now, Basic Rights Oregon (BRO) has announced it is exploring a Marriage 2012 campaign, and simultaneously organized an advisory group made up of community leaders and campaign professionals to help finalize that decision in the coming weeks.

Volunteers have recently been working the phone bank at the BRO’s Eugene headquarters, trying to gauge support for marriage equality in the state.

The state’s leading marriage equality foe, the Oregon Family Council, has promised to give BRO “the fight of their lives to protect marriage” if they start a ballot measure campaign.

If BRO is successful, and Oregon becomes the seventh state to legalize same-sex marriage, it would be the first state to do so via popular vote, and the first to overturn a constitutional ban.

“Deciding whether to go to the ballot is not something we take lightly nor a decision we will make alone,” said BRO Executive Director Jeana Frazzini in a statement on group’s website.

“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,” she said.

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