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
(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
(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
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
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
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.