Oregon Citizens Alliance

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The Oregon Citizens Alliance (OCA) was a conservative Christian political activist organization, founded by Lon Mabon in the U.S. state of Oregon. It was founded in 1986 as a vehicle to challenge then–U.S. Senator Bob Packwood in the Republican primaries,[1] and was involved in Oregon politics from the late 1980s into the 1990s.

Legislative activism[edit]

In 1988 the group sponsored Measure 8, an initiative that repealed Governor Neil Goldschmidt's executive order banning discrimination based on sexual orientation in the executive branch of state government. The measure not only repealed the executive order, but also put a statute on the books that prohibited any job protection for gay people in state government. The measure was approved by the voters, 52.7 percent to 47.3 percent. It was the OCA's only state-wide victory.

Aftwards, the OCA turned its attention to abortion. It placed Measure 10 on the 1990 general election ballot, which would have required parental notification for a minor's abortion. The measure was defeated, 52.2 percent to 47.8 percent.

In 1992 the OCA returned to the issue of homosexuality, when it proposed Measure 9. This initiative would have amended the Oregon Constitution to prevent what the OCA called "special rights" for homosexuals and bisexuals, by adding a provision that the state "recognizes homosexuality, pedophilia, sadism and masochism as abnormal, wrong, unnatural, and perverse." The ballot measure was defeated, 56 percent to 44 percent. That same year, the Oregon Court of Appeals declared Measure 8 unconstitutional.[2] As a result, the OCA's only statewide victory was nullified.

The OCA promoted similar measures at the local level, both before and after the 1992 election, but those measures were ultimately invalidated by the Oregon Legislative Assembly. It also promoted similar statewide measures with language softer than that of Measure 9. These included Measures 13 and 19 in 1994, and Measure 9 (sometimes referred to as "Son of 9") in 2000.

The organized opposition to 1992's Measure 9 formed the basis of much of the current LGBT rights movement in Oregon, including the organization Basic Rights Oregon.[1]

Local efforts[edit]

After failing to pass Measure 9 in 1992, the OCA turned its attention to passing anti-discrimination bans at the county and municipal level. Couching the debate in terms of forbidding LGBT people from receiving so-called "special rights," the OCA sought not only to block ordinances in these communities but to bar them from spending money to "promote homosexuality."[3] The OCA was successful in passing over two dozen initiatives. However, in 1993 the Oregon Legislative Assembly passed a law prohibiting local governments from considering LGBT rights measures so the ordinances had no legal force.[4] The Oregon Court of Appeals upheld the state law in 1995.[5] Two weeks after the United States Supreme Court ruled in Romer v. Evans, the OCA suspended its efforts for a third statewide ballot initiative.[6]

Election date Locale Measure Outcome Notes
May 19, 1992 Corvallis 02-06 Red XN 4,896 (36.21%) 8,625 (63.79%) [7][8][9]
Springfield 20-08 Green tickY 55.4% 44.6% [8]
May 18, 1993 Cornelius 34-5 Green tickY 981 (61.74%) 608 (38.26%) [10][11]
June 29, 1993 Canby Green tickY 1,961 (55.76%) 1,556 (44.24%) Final unofficial results as of July 1, 1993.[12][13]
Junction City Green tickY Passed by one vote.
The measure was later invalidated by a court,
but a new initiative passed March 22, 1994.[3][12][14]
Douglas Co. Green tickY [12]
Josephine Co. Green tickY 13,048 (60.47%) 8,529 (39.53) Final unofficial results as of July 1, 1993.[12][13]
Klamath Co. 18-01 Green tickY 11,304 (65.87%) 5,856 (34.13%) [12][15]
Linn Co. Green tickY 18,197 (69.06%) 8,153 (30.94%) Final unofficial results as of July 1, 1993.[12][13]
September 21, 1993 Creswell 20-01 Green tickY 368 (57.86%) 268 (42.14%) Final unofficial results as of September 22, 1993.[16][17][18]
Estacada 3-1 Green tickY 349 (54.45%) 292 (45.55%) Final unofficial results as of September 22, 1993.[16][17][18]
Lebanon 22-02 Green tickY 1,869 (65.24%) 996 (34.76%) Final unofficial results as of September 22, 1993.[16][17][18]
Medford 15-2 Green tickY 8,550 (58.48%) 6,070 (41.52%) Incomplete results as of September 22, 1993.[16][17][18]
Molalla 3-2 Green tickY 443 (54.96%) 363 (45.04%) Final unofficial results as of September 22, 1993.[16][17][18]
Sweet Home 22-01 Green tickY 1,242 (77.33%) 364 (22.67%) Final unofficial results as of September 22, 1993.[16][17][18]
Jackson Co. 15-1 Green tickY 27,621 (59.10%) 19,115 (40.90%) Incomplete results as of September 22, 1993.[16][17][18]
November 9, 1993 Keizer Green tickY 55% 45% [4]
Oregon City Green tickY 53% 47% [4]
March 22, 1994 Albany 22-3 Green tickY 5,357 (58.82%) 3,750 (41.18%) Final unofficial results as of March 23, 1994.[14][19]
Junction City 20-06 Green tickY 658 (56.97%) 497 (43.03%) Final unofficial results as of March 23, 1994.[19]
Replaced a measure passed June 29, 1993 but invalidated in court.[20]
Marion Co. 24-5 Green tickY 36,663 (60.77%) 23,666 (39.23%) Final unofficial results as of March 23, 1994.[14][19]
Turner 22-03 Green tickY 349 (78.96%) 93 (21.04%) Final unofficial results as of March 23, 1994.[14][19]
May 17, 1994 Cottage Grove Green tickY 57% 43% Final unofficial results as of May 19, 1994.[21]
Grants Pass Green tickY
Gresham 26-4 Red XN 8,035 (50.45%) 7,891 (49.55%) [21][22]
Charter amendments require 60%.
Oakridge Green tickY 51% 49% Final unofficial results as of May 19, 1994.[21]
Roseburg Green tickY 65% 35% Final unofficial results as of May 19, 1994.[21]
Veneta Green tickY 55% 45% Final unofficial results as of May 19, 1994.[21]
November 8, 1994 Lake Co. Green tickY

Hands Off Washington[edit]

In 1993, the OCA intervened in Washington state politics by introducing two ballot measures that would have threatened the employability of persons who were LGBT, or were perceived to be. An ad hoc grassroots movement called Hands Off Washington was organized in opposition to the measures. The Hands Off Washington campaign repelled both efforts.[citation needed]

1996 Senate race[edit]

In the 1996 U.S. Senate special election to succeed Senator Packwood, the OCA endorsed Gordon Smith over Ron Wyden in the race. Critics faulted Smith for failing to take a strong stand against the OCA, and he was defeated by Wyden. When Smith made a second run for the Senate a few months later after incumbent Mark Hatfield had retired, Mabon ran against Smith. The Oregonian cited Mabon's candidacy as a key component of Smith's attempt in the second race to establish himself as a centrist, contributing to his victory over Democrat Tom Bruggere.[23]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Wentz, Patty (1999). "Homophobia hits home". Willamette Week (Portland: City of Roses Newspapers). Retrieved February 11, 2010. 
  2. ^ Merrick v. Board of Higher Education, 116 Or App 258, 841 P2d 646 (1992).
  3. ^ a b Kidd, Joe (July 27, 1993). "City officials put gay issue on fall ballot". The Register-Guard (Eugene: Guard Publishing). p. 1C. Retrieved February 11, 2010. 
  4. ^ a b c "OCA gets ready to take its battle to 1994 ballots". The Register-Guard (Eugene: Guard Publishing). Associated Press. November 11, 1993. p. 5C. Retrieved February 11, 2010. 
  5. ^ Neville, Paul (April 13, 1995). "Appeals court deals setback to gay rights foes". The Register-Guard (Eugene: Guard Publishing). pp. 1A, 4A. Retrieved February 14, 2010. 
  6. ^ Neville, Paul (June 28, 1996). "Gay celebration spotlights victory in Supreme Court". The Register-Guard (Eugene: Guard Publishing). pp. 1C–2C. Retrieved February 15, 2010. 
  7. ^ Portal, Ann (May 20, 1992). "Voters approve anti-gay measure". The Register-Guard (Eugene: Guard Publishing). pp. 1, 4A. Retrieved February 13, 2010. 
  8. ^ a b "A Blue-Collar Town Is a Gay-Rights Battleground". The New York Times. June 14, 1992. p. 35. Retrieved February 14, 2010. 
  9. ^ Benton County Elections Office, retrieved March 26, 2010.
  10. ^ Rubenstein, Sura (May 18, 1993). "Anti-gay, county measures pass: Cornelius voters OK home-grown ballot measure". The Oregonian (Portland: Advance Publications). p. A01. Retrieved February 14, 2010. 
  11. ^ Washington County Elections Office, retrieved March 23, 2010.
  12. ^ a b c d e f Egan, Timothy (July 1, 1993). "Voters in Oregon Back Local Anti-Gay Rules". The New York Times. p. A10. Retrieved February 14, 2010. 
  13. ^ a b c Porter, Mark (July 1, 1993). "Opponents will seek a recount". The Register-Guard (Eugene: Guard Publishing). p. 4A. Retrieved February 13, 2010. 
  14. ^ a b c d "OCA: Measure gaining momentum". The Register-Guard (Eugene: Guard Publishing). Associated Press. March 24, 1994. p. 4C. Retrieved February 14, 2010. 
  15. ^ Klamath County Clerk's Office, retrieved February 11, 2010.
  16. ^ a b c d e f g "6 Oregon Cities, 1 County Pass Laws Against Gay Rights". The Los Angeles Times. September 23, 1993. p. A30. Retrieved February 14, 2010. 
  17. ^ a b c d e f g Rubenstein, Sura (September 22, 1993). "Anti-gay-rights measures win handily". The Oregonian (Portland: Advance Publications). p. C01. Retrieved February 14, 2010. 
  18. ^ a b c d e f g "Anti-gay-rights measure: County and city profiles". The Oregonian (Portland: Advance Publications). September 22, 1993. p. C10. Retrieved February 14, 2010. 
  19. ^ a b c d "Anti-gay-rights measures: County and city profiles". The Oregonian (Portland: Advance Publications). March 23, 1994. p. A14. Retrieved February 14, 2010. 
  20. ^ Kidd, Joe (March 23, 1994). "Voters pass anti-gay law for 2nd time". The Register-Guard (Eugene: Guard Publishing). pp. 1, 4A. Retrieved February 13, 2010. 
  21. ^ a b c d e Rubenstein, Sura (May 19, 1994). "OCA, foe both proclaim vote victory". The Oregonian (Portland: Advance Publications). p. E05. Retrieved February 14, 2010. 
  22. ^ Multnomah County Elections Office, retrieved March 24, 2010.
  23. ^ Kinsey-Hill, Gail (November 7, 1996). "After earlier defeat, Smith successfully moves toward center". The Oregonian.