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RON SAXTON: A Real Threat to Oregon

Two weeks ago we told you about the anti-gay record of Republican nominee for Governor Ron Saxton and the danger for the GLBT community if he were to get elected.

If you missed that message, here's a reminder:

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.

Saxton even opposes basic equal treatment for GLBT Oregonians and our families. Forget about equal marriage rights: Saxton opposes even civil unions.

Saxton doesn't seem to have any problem with anti-GLBT discrimination. He opposes adding sexual orientation and gender identity to anti-discrimination statutes and has vowed to veto any bill like Senate Bill 1000 should it pass in the next legislative session.

Ron Saxton actively courted - and won - the support of the anti-gay Oregon Family Council--the same people who put measure 36 on the ballot and fought against Senate Bill 1000.

And, most recently, Ron Saxton made clear that he has no desire to stake out any pro-fairness or anti-discrimination position, when he refused to complete any portion of the Basic Rights Equality PAC candidate questionnaire.

But -- make no mistake. Ron Saxton isn't just bad for the GLBT community. He has also staked out extreme anti-immigrant, anti-choice, anti-working families positions and more.


Saxton Acknowledges Schools Need More Money, But Opposes It. In the Welches Debate, Saxton stated, "Do schools need more money? They probably need more money. But if you give them more money before you make changes none of this is going to get to the classroom where it needs to make a change." [Welches ONPA Debate, 7/14/06]


Saxton Has Seal of Approval From Oregon's Leading Anti-Choice Group. During the primary, Saxton "actively courted" support from anti-choice groups. "We had a wonderful board meeting with him," stated Gayle Atteberry, Oregon Right to Life executive director. Oregonian columnist David Reinhard noted, "Saxton would sign almost any abortion limit... that Oregon Right to Life can get through the Legislature." [Oregonian, 5/3/06, 5/14/06]


Saxton Advocates Barring the School House Door to the Children of Undocumented Citizens. Asked at the March 14 Willamette University debate whether the state should educate the children of undocumented citizens, Saxton said, "I believe we should not be offering services to those here illegally." Saxton, an attorney, advocates providing no tax-funded services to undocumented citizens in clear contravention of the Supreme Court case Plyer v. Doe. [Willamette University Debate, 3/14/06; Oregonian, 4/28/06]

In addition, Saxton opposes limits on predatory payday loans, increases in the minimum wage for Oregon's hardest working families and clean car standards.


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By Anonymous Anonymous, at July 24, 2006 2:58 PM

I'm gay, and I plan to vote for Saxton. This is because Kulongoski is a joke as a governor, and Saxton has shown more promise as a governor than Kulongoski has in four years.

If people in Oregon were more proactive, and cared more for their state, they would have chosen a different democratic candidate. I would have voted for Jim Hill hands down. But, we are stuck with these two, and Saxton is the better choice.

Also, keep in mind that a governor's veto can be overturned by the legislature, and that the issue could possibly be refered to the people. If the legislature pays attention to their constituents, they will realize that the majority of people support civil unions for gays and lesbians (without using the word marriage).

I hope the glbt community is a little less selfish. We have to realize that there are more people in Oregon other than ourselves, and that the well-being and stability of the state is more important immediately than the rights of a few. In four years, we maybe another candidate will arise to fill our needs and protect our rights.    

By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 23, 2006 9:42 PM

BRO refused to greenlight Jim Hill, even though he supported Same Sex Marriage, where Kulongoski does not.

Now they're telling us to support Kulongoski who hasn't in four years done anything other than stand against same-sex marriage (he opposed measure 36, but wasn't in favor of marriage equality - not giving many people a reason to vote against it).

We're stuck with bad choices here. Kulongoski hasn't done anything in four years for lesbians and gays - and Saxton probably won't either.    

By Blogger BRO, at October 25, 2006 10:35 AM

Anonymous...Basic Rights Oregon only offers "greenlights" in local races where full endorsements are not given to candidates.

You're simply wrong when you say the Governor has not done anything for the GLBT community.

We endorsed him because:

· As a first term legislator, Governor Kulongoski introduced Oregon's first anti-discrimination legislation in the 1970's.

· He has consistently and publicly opposed and campaigned against anti-GLBT ballot measures.

· As Attorney General, the Governor directed his staff to draft an amicus brief to the United States Supreme Court on Oregon's behalf arguing that Colorado's anti-GLBT Amendment 2 was unconstitutional -- a brief that was widely considered to have a significant impact in getting the measure thrown out.

· In his first term as Governor, he introduced anti-discrimination legislation, and requested the landmark Senate Bill 1000, which passed the Senate in 2005 and would have created civil unions for same-sex couples and banned discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

· Following the 2005 session the Governor formed the Governor's Task Force on Equality to continue to move the issue of relationship rights and anti-discrimination forward between legislative sessions.

· And, most recently, the Governor has appointed a senior staff-member as an official liaison to the GLBT community.

· The Governor has also vowed to bring civil unions and anti-discrimination legislation to a vote in both chambers in the 2007 session. That is clearly more than Saxton will do.

Could the Governor do more? Sure. But the fact remains he is the most pro-GLBT Governor in the country right now. And that simply means we have more work to do to elect the right people to office and give us greater choices.    

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