Oregon United for Marriage has suspended its campaign to challenge the state’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage at the November election after Oregon’s Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum announced today that the government won’t fight a lawsuit challenging the ban in court.
Oregon United for Marriage, a coalition including Basic Right Oregon, has
gathered 160,000 signatures since last summer—enough to qualify for the fall
elections, the group says.
It plans to hold onto those signatures but won't submit them to the elections division until it finds out how the judge will rule on the pending civil lawsuit. In the meantime Oregon United for Marriage will launch a statewide tour, talking to communities about how to support the same-sex couples in their towns.
After independent lawyers filed suit in October on behalf of two gay couples who wanted the right to marry in Oregon, Basic Rights Oregon and its partners filed a suit of their own and then asked the two lawsuits be consolidated. The groups then advocated proceeding on two paths: through the courts and through a ballot measure.
“Attorney General Rosenblum's historic announcement puts us on a strong path to securing marriage for Oregon’s loving, committed couples in the courts—which is why we have decided to hold on to our signatures pending the outcome of the federal lawsuit challenging Oregon’s marriage ban,” the group announced on Facebook.
Some supporters greeted the news with dismay.
"This is not a done deal," said Basic Rights Executive Director Jeana Frazzini. "This is in a judge’s hands. We have the signatures to move forward should that be necessary. We have good poll numbers. Neither of those things make it a done deal. We’re holding those signatures."