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Oregon's 'Defense of Marriage' Coalition Gears up for 2006 Ballot Campaign

A GayRightsWatch.com exclusive. We've uncovered huge news regarding Oregon's own so-called 'Defense of Marriage' Coalition. For an organization which claims it has no plans to push it's anti-gay agenda, the DOMC has raised a staggering amount of money according to campaign finance reports made public this week.

From December 2004 to present the 'Defense of Marriage' Coalition PAC has raised just under a half a million dollars. Unprecedented amount for an off cycle. If this isn't a sign of what's to come, I don't know what is.

The exact figure is $443,674.18. Does this seem like the mark of an organization that will be staying quiet during the 2006 cycle?

I think not.

As a community [GLBT] that digs deep during anti-gay ballot measures, then generally scales back during non-campaign seasons, we've got to change something--and change it quick.

We all remember the nauseating Measure 36. How could we possibly forget that? It was hands down the most hateful ballot measure in Oregon's history. So what's next on the anti-gay agenda? Are they going to rail against civil unions or domestic partnerships at the ballot box? Are they going to ban all adoption for gays and lesbians? How far will we let them go with their over-the-top extremist and hateful agenda?

In order for the GLBT community to keep even more attacks on GLBT Oregonians at bay, we need to not only match our opponents--we need to exceed them.

Think about this. Prior to the Measure 36 campaign in 2004, the most that anti-gay groups has spent in any one cycle was just over--HEAR THIS--$100k. Measure 36 cost about $3 million for both sides.

To win those campaigns, our community had to pony up $2.5 million. That was for No on 9 in 2000. If the ratio we've seen over history continues, the amount of money our side would need to raise would be close to $30 MILLION required to beat our opposition. This is JUST to maintain the status quo. This does not include what is required to move forward proactively and create positive change. Scared yet?

So if history holds true, we've entered a new era of fighting back attacks on GLBT Oregonians. This would be a new era that would require us to start thinking about the resources we need years in advance. We need to be planning for 2006, 2008 right now. Planning with our wallets--and preparing our minds for the certain battles ahead.

Ladies and gentlemen, prepare yourself... will we see yet another anti-gay ballot measure campaign in 2006? It's entirely possible. As we've seen our opposition will stop at nothing to pursue an agenda of hate and oppression. The filing deadline for a ballot measure is July 7, 2006. It could come at anytime between now and then.

What now? Imagine if every single GLBT person living in the state, contributed say $25 a piece? Just imagine the massive amounts of money we would have to fight these attacks. The problem is that too many people simply assume that someone else will take care of it. Well wake up. It's not the case. You cannot simply sit back and assume that. Each and every one of us needs to get involved--be it with our time or with our money. I encourage you to visit Basic Rights Oregon and donate--even if it's $20, $30, $50. Everything will help defend our rights and help to create a state of equality.

Written by Bryan Harding

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By Blogger Adam, at 10/14/05 5:02 PM

This is the perfect time of year to bring up giving. Many companies have giving campaigns which make it very easy to donate through payroll deductions. I have used my company's campaign to donate to Basic Rights Oregon. It's a painless way to give to an organization that needs our support as they work to fight for our rights.    



By Anonymous Dengarm, at 10/14/05 5:35 PM

They don't have any obligation to spend the money they raise on a specific ballot measure. Similar organizations in all states (collectivly) gather a profoundly large amont of money each year. Most of it just goes to the Republicans as soft money (although some does get given away to specific Democratic candidites that are more 'moderate'). So I wouldn't go around screaming like chicken little just yet.

But money is still essential for any special interest group. At a buck a signature and with expensive ad space, not to mention polititions that need convincing that our side will get them votes. Cash runs politics, so start your donations now.    



By Blogger GayRightsWatch, at 10/14/05 6:19 PM

Dengarm,

This is a ton of money for this short amount of time. The DOMC has significant debt that they need/needed to pay off. This just goes to show a huge fundraising capacity.

Bryan H.    



By Anonymous Dmrusso, at 10/15/05 12:53 PM

While I think that fund raising efforts are ALWAYS paramount, we need to stop being reactionary to the anti-gay side.

I have been an Oregonian since 1991, and seen a few ballot measures. We have defeated nearly all of them, but only by the narrowist of margins. I blame this lack of resilence to anti-gay ballot measures not on the success of their fund raising, but on our lack of committment to go on the political offensive.

We lost 36, not because of the otherside, but because we hired outside people with a narrow focus on how to defeat the measure. It seemed to me that they did not appreciate Oregonian ideas on how to win in our own state.

I appreciate what BRO is doing. We need a long range politically pro-active position and plan for educating the public, electing politicans that support gay rights and then putting our own ballot measures up so that we put anti-gay activists on the defensive so they have to choose where to spend their money.    



By Blogger GayRightsWatch, at 10/15/05 1:55 PM

Who were these outside people running the No on 36 campaign? As someone who worked as a volunteer for the campaign, I do not recall the campaign being run by anyone other than Oregonians. Did I miss something?

I do agree with you though about the last paragraph. BRO is revving up on a 3 year education campaign, their EqualityPAC is also doing some amazing work to get ready for this next election cycle to put fair-minded, pro-GLBT politicians in office. Maybe on 2008 we will have our own pro-active ballot measure.    



By Anonymous Daniel Russell, at 10/18/05 9:16 AM

Dear All-
Money, money, money - isn't it funny? It's a rich mans world - ABBA

We all have opinions about why Measure 36 passed and I will assert, contrary to Dmrusso, that it is FAR more complex than having the assistance of friends/groups outside of this state. I worked very hard on that campaign arm in arm with Oregonians as well as non-Oregonians. It is high time we stop blaming the very people and organizations that are doing everything they can to fight the hate and move the love. It is time we treat each other and our organizations on the front lines as we would our friends and family. What I mean is, these organizations are human, JUST LIKE you and me. We make mistakes and we learn from them. I hear more critizism than I do compassion within our own movement. With that said, it IS time to begin the giving and give all that you can and give in a way that BRO can count on (weekly,monthly, annually) so that they may plan. One final shameless plug - if you live in Washington County there is an established Basic Rights Action Team currently planning a county-wide non-discrimination ordinance. We are on the offense! Contact BRO @ 503-222-6151 to join us!    



By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10/18/05 11:40 AM

dengarm--

We should never take the DOMC at face value. The DOMC may have a lot of debt, but look at who it owes. The "debt" is primarily to Gatway Communications owned by none other than Tim Nashif who formed the DOMC.

I think it is plausiblet that they want to make it continue to look like they have a huge outstanding debt so that the fundraising efforts can fly under the radar and folks will dismiss them only as efforts to retire their debt.

Do you think that Tim Nashif wouldn't be willing to "forgive" that "debt" in a second if it meant he could further roll back gay rights at the ballot box? I'm not advocating paranoia, but, we should never underestimate our opposition and the lengths that they are willing to go to.    



By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10/19/05 7:46 PM

What if I really LOVE my horse/donkey/poodle, etc. Why should Government dictate how many genders or species I can have a relationship with, sexual or not.

According to today's Seattle Times..."An Enumclaw-area man who authorities say helped run a farm where people had sex with animals — and where a Seattle man died doing so with a horse — was charged with a misdemeanor yesterday.

Police began investigating James Tait, 54, and another man who lived at the rural Southeast King County farm after the Seattle man died of injuries suffered during intercourse with a horse in the summer, Enumclaw police said.

The criminal-trespassing charge stems from a July 2 bestiality session involving Tait, the 45-year-old Seattle man and a horse in a neighbor's barn, charging papers say. According to the King County Medical Examiner's Office, the Seattle man died of acute peritonitis due to perforation of the colon.

Attempts to contact Tait yesterday were unsuccessful.

King County prosecutors say it's the most-severe charge they could file; Washington is one of more than a dozen states that does not outlaw bestiality."

If it isn't illegal, its not immoral.    



By Blogger GayRightsWatch, at 10/19/05 9:13 PM

Wow Anonymous, that was one the most ridiculous (though on message with Sen. Charles Starr) arguments I've heard in a while.

I think that is all I will say about that. I think that your comment is a prime example of the ignorance and complete stupidity that comes from your side of the argument. It shall speak for itself.

Bryan H.    



By Anonymous Tanya, at 10/20/05 3:04 PM

See, Bryan- this argument is trying to say that you and I are just as incapable of making romantic decisions as an animal.

That's the translation I get any time someone tries to use an argument that replaces a consenting adult with an animal, or any alternative variable that is not capable of making thoughtful decisions in response to sexual advances.

Snore. That was easy. Go to debate class, Anonymous. Look up "slippery slope" and come back when you're ready for another spanking.    



By Anonymous Keith, at 11/7/05 5:52 PM

Dmrusso - I agree with you completely. And we do have the know-how right here in this state for how to get things passed and make real progress. I appreciate what BRO has accomplished and all the hard work they put towards LGBT civil rights, but this is a state which has a right-to-die law which voters approved and continue to support. There is no reason that we should have lost measure 36.

Bryan, Roey herself told all that BRO did not run the measure 36 campaign, you say they did - so no one knows who was leading the measure 36 effort. We only know that it wasn't a strategy that works in Oregon. The defeat proved that.

This community needs to start working together and stop villifying people who bring up any criticism. It's ripping our movement apart, and we should all be ashamed.

An open and inclusive civil rights movement cannot be defeated.    



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