Group Files Ballot Measure To Legalize Discrimination Of Gays In Oregon
To keep gay couples from accessing services and goods for weddings, a Christian group has defied the tenets of their faith to file a ballot measure that seeks to legalize anti-gay discrimination.
The initiative comes after Oregon Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian launched a well-publicized investigation against a Gresham bakery that refused to provide a cake for a marriage between two women.
"We are deeply concerned that even Oregon elected officials are becoming hostile towards religious freedom," said Teresa Harke, spokeswoman for Friends of Religious Freedom, a group formed to support the initiative campaign.
Harke is also communications director for the Oregon Family Council, a group opposingthe proposed initiative that would legalize same-sex marriage in the state.
Jeana Frazzini, executive director of Basic Rights Oregon, the state's major gay-rights organization, said in a statement that "while we are all entitled to our religious beliefs, those beliefs don't entitle any of us to discriminate against others, or disobey laws that are already in place to ensure that everyone is treated equally."
If approved in the initial steps, the group must then gather 87,213 signatures to make the November ballot.