January 16th, 2009 | by Dan Green News | Posted In: Gay Rights, CLEAN UP

Oregon Supreme Court Sidesteps Measure 36

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On Jan. 14, the Oregon State Supreme Court denied petition to hear Martinez v. Kulongoski , the lawsuit challenging Measure 36 's inclusion on the 2004 ballot. Oregon's Constitution was amended in 2004, when Oregon voters passed the initiative 57%-43%, and defined marriage as a union of one man and one woman.

“We'll explore all legal avenues,” said Mark Johnson, lead counsel for the plaintiffs (including former WW scribe Byron Beck and his partner, Juan Martinez). Although the Martinez case has been decided, Johnson is hopeful the Oregon Supreme Court will hear a similar case soon. “We have other legal strategies and other things we can explore.”

Jeana Frazzini, Executive Director for Basic Rights Oregon , a nonprofit seeking to end discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender, is optimistic this act could be overturned. “We want to bring this back to the people," she says. "Oregonians believe in fairness, and I think we can get this on the ballot again in 2012.”

Measure 36 was not heard by the Oregon Supreme Court because, according to Frazzini, “They must've reviewed the decision at the appeals level and agreed with the ruling.”
 
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