One relatively unknown candidate in Oregon’s upcoming gubernatorial primary made headlines on Tuesday, when she compared same-sex marriage to a major crime.
“I would have to say, I definitely believe that that is wrong. I believe it’s a sin, just the same as murder’s a sin,” expressed GOP hopeful Lorraine Mae Rafferty, when probed about her stance on same-sex marriage. Rafferty, who is running against five other candidates, told Harry Esteve of the Oregonian that she is the most conservative contender in the primary race.
However, Rafferty’s claim may work against her, as the state comes closer to approving same-sex marriage. On April 23, two combined lawsuits will tackle a 2004 amendment, which defines marriage as a partnership between a man and a woman. Plaintiffs will argue that the state’s current ban of same-sex marriage strips couples of legal protections and assigns them second-class status. Last October, it was also announced that Oregon would recognized same-sex couples from other states. And if advocates from Oregon United for Marriage collect 116,284 signatures by July 3 — an initiative put on hold as the court case proceeds this month — marriage equality will be added to the ballot in November’s general election.
Public opinion on marriage equality also strays from Rafferty’s statement. Public Policy Polling concluded in 2012 that 54 percent of Oregon residents would vote in favor of same-sex marriage, and a 2013 poll initiated by DHM research asserted that only 42 percent of Oregonians opposed marriage equality.