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Oregon Governor Race: A Red Flag

With the Primary election over, Basic Rights Oregon is beginning its focus on the candidates in the November election for Governor.

For the GLBT community the portrait of one of the candidates isn't a pretty one.

When Ron Saxton began his quest to be Oregon's next governor, many of us hoped that he might represent a return to a more moderate Republicanism.

But that's not what happened.

During the Primary election, we got to see the real Ron Saxton: a candidate who has allied himself with the most virulent anti-gay forces in Oregon. As a result, the GLBT community faces an Election Day threat every bit as serious as Ballot Measures 36, 13, and 9.

Think that overstates the case? Take a look at where he stands on basic fairness:

  • Saxton opposes basic equal treatment for GLBT Oregonians and our families. Forget about equal marriage rights: Saxton opposes even civil unions. [KGW GOP Primary Debate 4/24/06; Statesman Journal, 4/23/06]

  • Saxton doesn't seem to have any problem with anti-GLBT discrimination. He opposes adding sexual orientation and gender identity to anti-discrimination statutes. "I'm not convinced that it needs to be there," he said [WB's "Outlook Portland," 4/2/06] and has vowed to veto any bill like Senate Bill 1000 should it pass in the next legislative session.

  • And Ron Saxton actively courted - and won - the support of the anti-gay Oregon Family Council. In fact, they liked him even more than Kevin Mannix. Even OFC Director Tim Nashif personally sent a recorded phone endorsement to 160,000 Republican voters, telling them to vote for Saxton over Mannix in the primary election. [Willamette Week, May 24, 2006]

    There are many questions still to be asked about the race for governor. But one has been answered. A Ron Saxton victory will guarantee another defeat for equality in Oregon.


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  • By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 30, 2006 3:50 PM

    I seriously hope that GLBT's and allies aren't actually considering Saxton for Governor. As outlined here, if Saxton wins - the chance for equality in Oregon is over for at least the next 4 years.    

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at July 08, 2006 6:15 PM

    Who know anymore what BRO is up to with all there back door bullshit . I am so sure they will pick TED when he did nothing for us at all on 36 or SB 1000 , If it had not been for Senator Ben Westlund . Senator Westlund is the only Smart and wise choice . But im sure BRO is going to stick to party lines just as they always do Because THERE is something in it for them has to be . Senator Westlund has been the real Champion of RIGHTS FOR ALL not just the GLBT's but every one so Make your voice heard and VOTE FOR BEN ... he is the only smart choice .    

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at July 08, 2006 6:48 PM

    I'll disagree with the comment above and deconstruct your un-truths. I would love for you to come back and tell me I'm wrong.

    1.) GLBT Equality:
    - Ben Westlund voted YES on Measure 36.
    - Ben Westlund publically endorsed Measure 36.
    - He sponsored SB1000 yes - I applaud him for that, though he still voted against marriage equality in 2004.

    2.) Woman's Right to Choose: He is also considered semi-anti-choice. Ask NARAL if they are endorsing Ben - I can tell you right now, they've already endorsed Ted. Ben flip flops on choice issues. He is simply trying to cater to whom he needs to in order to get the votes.

    Ben will not will the election. I promise you this. A vote for Ben Westlund is a vote for Ron Saxton, which in turn means that you will not see any pro-equality bills next year in the Legislature. GUARANTEED.

    You want equality? There is no choice other than Ted. It's that simple. Ben westlund is fighting a losing battle and it will cost us all dearly in the end.

    So don't tell me that Ben "has been the real Champion of RIGHTS FOR ALL". That is an absolute lie. He is bad on women's health and doesn't have a perfect record on GLBT rights either like you make it seem. Get your facts straight.

    I think BRO would be very wise to endorse Ted for all those reasons above. Ben seems like a wonderful man and DID do a good thing last session, but he will not win. Repeat - will not win.    

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