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Oregon AG certifies ballot title in proposed religious freedom initiative

Saturday, March 15, 2014
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SALEM, Ore. — Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum has issued a title for a proposed “religious freedom” ballot initiative, effective adopting wording sought by the initiative’s opponents.

Ellen Rosenblum

Ellen Rosenblum

The certified ballot title issued by Rosenblum on Friday contains the language: “Religious belief” exceptions to anti-discrimination laws for refusing services, other, for same-sex ceremonies, “arrangements.”

The measure would allow businesses to refuse to provide commercial services to gay weddings based on religious beliefs. Unlike other states where religious freedom bills have been introduced in state legislatures, religious freedom backers hope to take Oregon’s measure directly to voters.

Friends of Religious Freedom, the group sponsoring the proposed measure, complained that the attorney general adopted unfair wording that stigmatized the measure, reports The Oregonian.

Ballot titles are regarded as one of the most important parts of an initiative campaign because they appear on the ballot right above where voters indicated their preference.

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