This is from the October 10 issue of the _Economist._ +quot;For a state that likes to pres

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This is from the October 10 issue of the _Economist._ "For a state that likes to present itself as a Periclean Athens, but with bigger trees, Oregon is starting to look distinctly unprogressive. The chief cause is Measure 9, a referendum that, if passed on November 3rd, will require the state government to CONDEMN (emphasis added) homosexuals as "perverse" and use its power to discourage them. The measure was placed on the ballot by the Oregon Citizens Alliance (OCA), a group of Christian fundamentalists who have been gaining influence for the past six years. They needed 140,000 signatures, and got them. "The measure would bar from state documents any language that recognises homosexuals as a distinct group. It would ban the use of state money to "promote, encourage or facilitate homosexuality, paedophilia, sadism, or masochism". And it asks state and local government and schools to set "a standard for Oregon's youth" that recognises homosexuality... as abnormal, unnatural, and wrong." The article goes on to say that virtually all Oregon politicialns are against the measure, and that an estimated 27% of Oregon voters support it. Both sides are waging multi-million dollar campaigns. ------------------------------------------------------------------------ I'm not sure the full text of the OCA's ballot measure 9 has ever been posted here before. Just in case, here it is: _________________________________________________________________ PROPOSED CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT Be It Enacted by the People of the State Of Oregon: Paragraph 1. The constitution of the State of Oregon is amended by creating a new section to be added to and made a part of Article 1 and to read: Section 41 (1) This state shall not recognize any categorical provision such as "sexual orientation," "sexual preference," and similiar phrases that includes homosexuality, pedophilia, sadism or masochism. Quotas, minority status, affirmative action, or any similar concepts, shall not apply to these forms of conduct, nor shall government promote these behaviors. (2) State, regional and local government and their properties and monies shall not be used to promote, encourage, or facilitate homosexuality, pedophilia, sadism or macochism. (3) State, regional and local governments and their departments, agencies and other entities, including specifically the State Department of Higher Education and the public schools, shall assist in setting a standard for Oregon's youth that recognizes homosexuality, pedophilia, sadism and masochism as abnormal, wrong, unnatural, and perverse and that these behaviors are to be discouraged and avoided. (4) It shall be considered that it is the intent of the people in enacting this section that if any part thereof is held unconstitutional, the remaining parts shall be held in force. SUMMARY: Amends Oregon Constitution. All governments in Oregon may not use their monies or properties to promote, encourage or facilitate homosexuality, pedophilia, sadism or masochism. All levels of government, including public education systems, must assist in setting a standard for Oregon's youth which recognizes that these "behaviors" are "abnormal, wrong, unnatural and perverse" and that they are to be discouraged and avoided. State may not recognize this conduct under "sexual orientation" or "sexual preference" labels, or through "quotas, minority status, affirmative action, or similar concepts." __________________________________________________________ Now, a little history, since I feel somehow compelled to defend my state of residence where appropriate. Oregon comprises just under 2.5 million people. About 1.5 million of them are concentrated in the Portland metropolitan and tri-county area. The remaining 1 million or so are sprinkled about the state, mostly concentrated in the large forest tracks where they make their living. The logging industry has taken a pretty good beating recently, with the establishment of several species as endangered adding to the overall economic woes of the nation. Many Oregonians are suffering personally from forces seemingly out of their control. The OCA has done a masterful job of plugging into this widespread dissastifaction by promoting the return of "family values [sic]" to local government. I recently attended the Anne Franke memorial exhibit which is playing in Portland. I was astonished by the parallels between 1932 Germany and 1992 rural Oregon. The groups listed in the OCA's measure are our state's contemporary Jews. The state is geographically/economically split on the issue. In the widely rural areas where the conservatives are the strongest, support for the measure typically runs better than 50%. In the urban Portland and surrounding area, opponents can claim a 70% majority. Every major political group (conservative Republicans notwithstanding) has come out in opposition to the measure. The Oregon ecumenical council, with 17 of the largest mainstream churches, has also condemned the issue. I don't even need to mention on which side the media has fallen. So why does this measure have as much support as it appears to hold? Fear. The OCA has been playing the "special rights [sic]" fiddle very astutely. They have a statewide network of supporters that show videos of S&M parades, pedophile propaganda, and generally the most emmotionally disturbing activities of groups that by no means represent the homosexual norm. They distribute literature door to door. I have in my possession a story about Chuckie and Billy, where Chuckie is recruiting his vulnerable younger friend to the homosexual lifestyle. Your child could be next. The other major factor in measure 9's acceptance is idiocy or ignorance on the part of the voting public. The most common argument I hear in favor of the measure is "they [homosexuals] shouldn't have 'special rights'". The wording of the measure makes it quite clear that this is *not* the issue: institutionalized discrmination is. Six months ago I was fairly tolerant of all forms of Christianity. While I don't lump all churches into the category of the extreme fundamentalists that make up the OCA, I have lost most of my respect for religiously motivated legislation. This issue has done more to enforce my opinion that church and state should not mix. Fortunately, I still think that the majority of Oregonian's will agree on November 3rd. /\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\ Bob Beauchaine bobb@vice.ICO.TEK.COM UNeducated, UNderdeveloped, UNdisciplined and largely UNaware. I doubt the average Oregonian is much different from the average citizen from any of the other US states. What did that aluminium siding salesman say? "You know the intelligence of the average US citizen, well statistically half of them are dumber than that!" Welcome to the fascist milieu.


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