"Same-Sex Marriage Opponents Fail To Distort Oregon Ballot Initiative Language"
Advocates in Oregon are working to amend the state’s constitution to allow same-sex marriage through a ballot initiative in 2014. Opponents are already trying to disrupt this process by challenging the language for the proposed initiative. The Oregon Family Council argued that the proposal would require every governmental agency in Oregon to issue marriage licenses instead of just county clerks, and thus that should be reflected in the title.
The attorney general’s office rejected this argument, pointing out that even if the measure could be interpreted to require such a change, it’s certainly not the purpose of the initiative. Though Basic Rights Oregon is still considering two possible versions for the initiative, the title for either will read:
Amends Constitution: Recognizes marriage between couples of same gender; protects clergy/religious institutions’ refusal to perform marriages.
The title can still be appealed to the state Supreme Court, so the legal wrangling may not be over yet. At any rate, it’s the first of what could be many victories for Oregon’s champions of equality.