Okay Oregon, it’s time.

Thirteen years ago I moved to Portland from San Francisco. I told myself that I would wait at least ten years before I started venturing into writing about local politics and for the most part I have done so. But dammit, Oregon, it’s about time that we follow the example of 12 other states and legalize marriage equality. Look, we already know that the world isn’t going to end. We already know that babies will still be born, heterosexual couples will still get married, the swallows will still return to Capistrano, there will still be boy bands and the last few minutes of school will still seem a short lifetime for school children.

Andrew Sullivan over at Daily Dish writing in response to this piece that Ross Douthat wrote in today’s New York Times, regarding Mark Sanford winning the SC seat and what that has to say about the GOP’s commitment to ‘family values’, had this to say, “surely this means – must mean – that the current GOP’s hostility to marriage equality is not really about the state of marriage, but about their fundamentalist inability to see gay people in relationships as equals. How can you write a column about the lack of passion behind social conservatism without noting the real passion that drives the GOP to adopt a position that would deny gay couples any structured legal rights at all?”

This is all that is left and I think it’s time we all just admit it. The hostility to marriage equality has nothing–nothing at all–to do with the state of marriage. It has never been about that. As a matter of civil law–as opposed to any religious concerns one might have which I care not a whit about–all the quotation of scripture is simply a way of giving a veneer of respectability to feelings best characterized by saying “ewww, I don’t get that!” We all recognize–or should do so–that our feelings of disgust are probably not a good basis for public policy. Certainly not if we have not examined them. If ‘family values’ is about strengthening marriage then marriage equality actually advances that agenda. Being against marriage equality doesn’t.

It’s been a remarkable year. I never would have thought that twelve states would, through the legislative process, vote in marriage equality. Oregon still has, on its books, a law that defines marriage as being solely between a man and a woman. It’s time for that law to go. Then it’s time for the state to pass marriage equality. All semblance of any ‘good’ reasons for the law being on the books is long since dead.

Adrienne J Davis

Adrienne Davis is a 40-something grandmother of two beautiful children. Mother of a wonderful son and his girlfriend. Wife of an amazing woman A former soldier and freelance reporter, she now works in the software industry while trying to decide what she wants her third act to be. She lives in Portland, OR, where she and the missus live with a bearded collie, three cats and a bearded dragon named after one of the witches from Discworld. "All opinions are not equal. Some are a very great deal more robust, sophisticated and well supported in logic and argument than others. " Douglas Adams

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  1. Unfortunately, some years ago the Oregon state constitution was amended to ban same-sex marriage. We’ll need a new amendment to get this changed and so it can’t be done via referendum and, well, you know how that is. (BTW, I live in the Eugene area. Hiya, neighbor!)

    1. This is not correct. The Oregon Constitution can be changed via referendum, that is how we put marriage discrimination in there in the first place. It can’t be done by the legislature (except through referral of a ballot measure), it can only be done by referendum.

      In actual fact, Basic Rights Oregon came very close to deciding to put marriage equality on the ballot in 2012, but we decided (I participated in one of the open meetings in which this was decided, thus, “we”) that we didn’t have a majority in favor in Oregon yet (we didn’t), and that it was better to wait until 2014, when we would have had 2 more years of changing people’s minds than to risk losing (as things turned out, we might well have won in 2012, but that wasn’t clear in the Fall of 2011).

      The decision has already been made to put marriage equality on the ballot in 2014. If you’d like to get involved here in Oregon, call up Basic Rights Oregon and ask how you can help.

    2. My understanding is because it’s a in the Oregon constitution, the only way to change is is by ballot initiative. That’s the path Basic Rights Oregon supports, and with Oregon United for Marriage has a goal of adding an initiative to the 2014 ballot.

  2. Amen to that.
    Ever since we failed to legalize pot, we’ve been on the edge here. If we can’t get this done soon, we’re gonna have to turn in our hippie card. Downright shameful.

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