This week, Later this month, Basic Rights Oregon is expected to make its endorsement for Governor. Here's a rundown on the candidates for governor with respect to gay rights:
Ron Saxton has made his anti-gay views crystal clear. According to the BRO Blog, Saxton "has allied himself with the most virulent anti-gay forces in Oregon":
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.
Governor Ted Kulongoski has well-known and long-standing views on gay rights, and won the BRO endorsement during the primary election:
As a movement, we are lucky to live in a state where the fact is our Governor has done more to stake out a public position in favor of GLBT equality and use the office to advocate for equality than any other Governor in the country--period.
Some gay-rights supporters are making the case that Senator Ben Westlund deserves the Basic Rights endorsement. After all, he supported SB 1000 - the civil unions bill - and has this to say on his website:
As Governor of The State of Oregon, I will continue to fight to ensure that gay and lesbians, as well as their families, are protected under state law. For over thirty years Oregon has made attempts via the Legislature. We've come close, but not close enough. It is time to put an end to discrimination against our fellow Oregonians. Together, we can make Oregon a state of equality.
But other gay-rights supporters continue to point to Westlund's words just two years ago - in the 2004 Voter's Pamphlet:
While many people might expect me to break once again from my party and oppose Measure 36, they will be interested to know that I am a strong supporter of Marriage being defined as being between one man and one woman. ...
Measure 36 is simple. If it passes, and I hope that it does, it will simply confirm what most of us thought already to be true—Marriage in Oregon is legally defined as being between one man and one woman. Of all our cultural institutions, few are more important and more worth protecting than marriage. Please, Vote Yes on 36.
Those words weren't a group statement. Rather, they were signed "Senator Ben Westlund" and were printed with this disclaimer: "This information furnished by Senator Ben Westlund."
How does Ben Westlund explain the inconsistency? He claims he was under the influence of pharmaceuticals. According to Just Out:
According to Westlund, he was asked to endorse the discriminatory measure as he crossed the lawn of St. Charles Hospital for his third cancer operation. He calls the decision a mistake and chalks it up to being drugged in preparation for surgery.
What do you think? Discuss.