Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Basic Rights Oregon Responds: We Need A Clear Path To Victory

Earlier today I sent Basic Rights Oregon an e-mail asking them if their clarification on the Statesman Journal's report wasn't something of a "soft stance" on the same-sex marriage issue.  Essentially, I posited that BRO could push the issue more and was instead conceding the debate to the opposition merely because the opposition is loud.

Jeana Frazzini, the Executive Director of BRO, thoughtfully responded to my questions by asserting that jumping the gun with a ballot initiative could prove disastrous to the same-sex marriage debate in Oregon:
“We’re engaging Oregonians in conversations about marriage and it’s working. We are moving public opinion in the right direction and, in fact, accelerating the pace of change. But we’re not there yet. If the election were held today, it’s not clear that we would win. Given the expense – financial, physical and emotional – of mounting a ballot measure campaign, it would be irresponsible to go to the ballot without a clear path to victory. Other states have shown that once a measure is on the ballot, both sides start shouting and it’s hard to move minds on this issue. We’ve seen states that were forced to the ballot just a few points shy of majority support for marriage, and months later despite giving it their best, they were still a few points shy of victory on election day.”
While I was not told this directly and am mainly speaking on behalf of myself, I got the feeling that it is unclear whether the poll numbers were strong enough to justify a petition drive at this time.  In short?  It hasn't been ruled out, but more work is needed to be sure of victory.

While I'm eager for marriage equality to become fact in my home state, I'm satisfied that BRO knows what they're doing, despite my disappointment in a possible delay to the ballot.

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