Oregon conference votes on same-sex measure

By Faith News Note:

Attendees at the Dorchester Conference voted 233-162 to endorse a ballot measure in favor of overturning Oregon’s constitutional ban on gay marriage. The vote came amid concerns that young voters might leave the party over the issue. The measure is expected be on the November ballot. The vote results come in context of a rival religious liberty conference (held on the same day) which was aimed at being an alternative to the Dorchester conference and drew over 700 people.

The three-day conference in Seaside, founded 50 years ago by former Sen. Bob Packwood, has taken liberal positions in the past, such as approving abortion rights and opposing Ballot Measure 9, which addressed gay rights and public education.  On other issues the conference has voted more conservative.
During the floor debate one married couple made a visual statement by holding hands and declaring together that same-sex marriage is no threat to their marriage and that the party should always stand for individual liberty.  In opposition to the measure a few delegates made the point that the issue is too divisive for the conference and only serves to divide the party at a time when it should work towards unity.   This issue was the most contested issue during the conference debate topics.

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