Marriage is one of the essential building blocks of society. It provides a healthy and nurturing environment where current citizens, as well as future generations, are cared for, loved, and brought up to become productive members of society. As such, marriage must be protected and nourished. It must not be diluted by alternate living arrangements, and it must not be redefined to include anyone but a man and a woman.
Marriage between a man and a woman is the optimal environment for raising children. Studies by the Institute for American Values have shown that, compared to non-married or single family forms, children raised in intact married families are physically and emotionally healthier, are more likely to attend college, have a decreased risk of being physically or sexually abused, are less likely to become statistics of teen pregnancy, are less likely to use drugs or alcohol and to commit delinquent behaviors, are less likely to get divorced, and are less likely to be raised in poverty. Other studies have shown that children also receive gender specific support from having both a mother and a father, which are important for their development as boys and girls.
Marriage is worth defending and fighting for. In this day and age, marriage has come under attack on various fronts, and it is essential to uphold lifelong, faithful, one man one woman marriage. Our society tells us the traditional view of marriage is outdated and that there is no “best” living arrangement. Our culture tells us that it is acceptable to cohabitate, be promiscuous, trade a spouse in for a newer model, and explore our sexuality and gender identity. A small but vocal group in our society has even begun to demand that same-sex relationships be recognized as marriage. Redefining the traditional definition of marriage in any way would be detrimental to children, society, and to the institution of marriage, and we are committed to working tirelessly to prevent this from occurring.
Defense of Marriage Coalition
On March 2nd 2004 after two months of secret backroom meetings, four of the five Multnomah County Commissioners and Basic Rights Oregon, the states largest gay rights organization, announced same-sex marriage licenses were going to be issued starting the next morning. In total over 3,000 same-sex marriage licenses were issued.
In response, beginning May 21st and ending June 30th, the Defense of Marriage Coalition along with thousands of concerned Oregonians, gathered over 244,000 signatures to put Measure 36 on the Oregon ballot.
After nearly 4 months of campaigning and over $5 million spent by both sides, on November 2nd , 57% of Oregonians voted "YES" on 36.
The certification of Measure 36 took place December 2nd placing the following language permanently in the Oregon Constitution:
"It is the policy of Oregon and its political subdivisions that only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or legally recognized as a marriage."
Finally on April 14th, 2005 the Oregon Supreme Court ruled that the original 3,000 same-sex marriage licenses were issued illegally, and that the Multnomah County Commissioners involved had no legal right to break the current Oregon marriage law.
Whether in the courtroom, the legislature or at the ballot box, Defense of Marriage Coalition & Oregon Family Council will continue to protect the definition of Marriage in Oregon's laws
With the help of concerned Oregonians and their many pro-family allies, Oregon Family Council & Defense of Marriage Coalition will succeed in promoting strong, healthy marriages in the hundreds of cities, towns and communities throughout Oregon.