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Monday, June 27, 2011

Support for Gay Marriage Ticks Upward in Oregon

Posted by Sarah Mirk on Mon, Jun 27, 2011 at 3:44 PM

GAYED_in_Oregon2.jpg
  • I AM AWESOME AT PHOTOSHOP
Solidly good (but not fantastic) news from a new poll of Oregon voters: 48 percent of Oregonians think gay marriage should be legal.

That's a three percent jump from a 2009 nationwide study that found only 45 percent of Oregonians supported same sex marriage. And it's a huge change from 2004, when 56.6 percent of Oregonians voted for a constitutional amendment banning same sex marriage.

The the full study is here and also includes some interesting approval ratings for our Democratic politicians. Of all our Senators and Representatives, Ron Wyden has the highest approval rating (55 percent favorable) while David Wu has the worst (50 percent unfavorable). Also, apparently no one knows who Kurt Schrader is: 60 percent of Oregonians are "not sure" what kind of job he's doing.

But back to gay marriage!

Basic Rights Oregon has been cavassing the state "starting conversations" about gay marriage since 2009 and has launched TV ads, too, but has yet to announce whether they'll push to get a marriage equality constitutional amendment on the Oregon ballot in 2012.

Because of Measure 36, Oregon can't pursue gay marriage the way New York or Iowa did, we need to have a statewide vote to overturn the constitutional amendment. Though advocates have split on a desire to push for gay marriage sooner in Oregon, people on the "take it slow" side argue that the worst thing that could happen is for a massive pro-marriage ballot campaign to fail at the polls.

One thing pushing Oregon's mainstream needle to the pro-gay side (In addition to recent big wins for LGBT rights) is that the state is getting younger. The number of people over 65 in Oregon (who are 30 percent less likely to support gay marriage) declined from 13.5 percent of the population to 12.4 percent since 2000. However! Even the oldies support Oregon gay couples having some sort of legal recognition, with 44 percent supporting civil unions and 28 percent supporting gay marriage.

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