Discrimination Has No Place in Oregon

May 9, 2014 - The ACLU of Oregon is elated the Oregon Family Council has decided not to go forward with its plans to put a discrimination measure on the ballot in November. There is no place for discrimination in Oregon.

Yesterday, the Oregon Supreme Court released the ballot title for Initiative Petition 52 saying it would not order any changes be made to the ballot title certified by the Attorney General. We had urged the Court to improve on part of the ballot title but overall we were pleased that the certified ballot title made the harmful effects of the proposal clear to voters.

The initiative was designed to allow individuals and businesses to use their religion to discriminate against same-sex couples in a wide array of services related to celebrating or recognizing a gay or lesbian couple's marriage or relationship. It is wrong to treat people differently because of who they are and who they love.

The ACLU of Oregon filed comments on the proposed ballot title during the administrative comment period. The final ballot title took many of our comments into consideration and resulted in a more accurate description of how this proposal would create a religious exception to Oregon's current anti-discrimination laws for businesses and others who don't want to provide services or accommodations related to same-sex marriages.

The opponents of marriage likely realized with the truth of their measure revealed in the ballot title, they would have a hard time convincing Oregonians to embrace discrimination.

There was an incredible outpouring of early opposition to this measure—over 462 organizations and leaders, including 190 businesses and 167 faith leaders, joined the Oregon United Against Discrimination coalition.