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Marriage Backers Win This Round in Fight Over Oregon Ballot Languge

By Lucas Grindley

Exactly what Oregon voters will read if given the chance to decide next year whether to overturn a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage is nearly decided.

As activists in other states have done, Basic Rights Oregon announced in February the creation a coalition of groups, called Oregon United for Marriage, to press for marriage equality. Then it began collecting signatures to put repeal of the marriage ban on Oregon ballots.

The Oregonian reports that marriage equality advocates have so far prevailed in stopping antigay activists from bogging down the title of that potential ballot initiative by including mention of a strange theory that lifting the ban would mandate every agency of state government to issue marriage licenses.

Here's how the newly certified title of the ballot initiative reads:

"Amends Constitution: Recognizes marriage between couples of same gender; protects clergy/religious institutions' refusal to perform marriages"

The Oregonian reports that opponents of marriage equality could appeal to the Supreme Court if they want to continue pressing for changes. Basic Rights Oregon is still considering two versions of the ballot language itself to submit.

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