As a chief petitioner for the two referenda: same-sex marriage aka domestic partnership and sexual behavior/activity as a protected minority, I personally experienced confusion while going through the petition sheets determining which signatures were valid or not.
The Oregon Revised Statues (ORS), laws and the Oregon Administrative Rules (OAR) that were to be followed weren't followed, in my opinion. It was too late once we actually looked at the ORS's and OAR's. These will come out as the lawsuit progresses.
A glaring omission is that on back of each petition sheet are the "rules for circulators" and the "rules for signers". No where are there directions for "further" rules and regulations, although we are supposed to somehow know that more actually exist. And, when they are found, after much searching, the rules didn't correspond with reasons why the Secretary of State threw out voters signatures and whole petition sheets. This was very frustrating.
We all learned that there seems to be efforts to silence and NOT have Oregonians voices heard. It was then a miracle of sorts that this grassroots campaign had HB 2007 (same sex marriage) down by only 96 signatures....and SB 2 (sexual activity/behavior/perception as a protected minority ) was down by less than 1,200.
There will be another petition drive for Oregon Voters to be able to vote on these issues. Catholics will need a grassroots effort since the Archdiocese doesn't seem to have the right person for the job to put forth Roman Catholic values. Case in point for the 2007 Session:
The Oregon Catholic Conference, led by Roger Martin our lobbyist who voted for legalizing abortion when he was a legislator, embarrassed thousands of Oregon Catholics by his lack of defense of marriage and family values. And his "complete" testimony cannot be found even though, at the hearing, he said it would be on the record.
Also, the law firm that the Archdiocese of Portland uses is listed in the Gay Yellow Pages of Portland: Schwabe, Williamson and Wyatt. Now this might not mean anything, however, this law firm has apparently been paid by the Archdiocese for years during the homosexual scandal. Are there not other law firms that support our values?
Our Catholic Church teaches that Marriage is a sacrament and is between one man and one woman. Thank God we have our Protestant brothers and sisters helping the Body of Christ. NOT ONE Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon Church supports this issue. Seems like we need to detach ourselves.
Here's the article. Please pass it around and pray for it's success. Also for the Archdiocese of Portland and those who work at the Pastoral Center. Souls are at stake and Christ will come again to judge the living and the dead.
PORTLAND, Ore. - Attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund filed a lawsuit Monday in federal court against the Oregon Secretary of State and several county clerks after those offices wrongfully invalidated voters' signatures on a citizen referendum. If sustained, the referendum would place onto the November 2008 ballot an option for voters to repeal the state legislature's domestic partnership bill.
"Our country is founded on the basic principle of government of the people, by the people, and for the people. It is un-American that Oregon citizens are being denied the right to have their vote count in an important referendum," said ADF Senior Legal Counsel, Austin R. Nimocks.
"The county clerks must fulfill their duty, which is to make sure that every citizen's legitimately submitted signature counts," Nimocks added. "The right to exercise one's voice in the democratic process is a crucial one, and state and county officials must not infringe upon that right."
ADF attorneys filed a lawsuit on behalf of several Oregonians whose signatures were invalidated by clerks' offices in 12 different counties. Many of the citizens sought, in person, to have their signatures revalidated since no legitimate reason existed to reject their signatures, but the clerks refused.
Signatures were improperly invalidated for various reasons, including determinations that signatures did not match their corresponding voter registration cards, though they did. Other signatures were excluded for voters allegedly not being registered, though they were. Another signer's signature was excluded because the clerk considered the signature "illegible," though it could be read. None of the 254 signers who had their signatures excluded by clerks were ever contacted about the matter.
"In Oregon elections, where most citizens vote by mail, voters are routinely contacted about missing, old, or non-matching signatures, all in an effort to give the voter every chance to make sure that their vote counts," Nimocks explained. "Yet, when it came to Referendum 303, clerks were unconcerned about ensuring that every vote counted and contacted no one. The law allows them to contact the signers, but they refused."
Though the number of signatures for the referendum submitted to the office exceeded the required number by more than 6,000, the Secretary of State publicly announced on Oct. 8 that there were not enough signatures to sustain the referendum. On Oct. 26, when the final results were certified by the Secretary of State, Referendum 303 was only five signatures shy of gaining access to the ballot.
A copy of the lawsuit filed at the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon in the case Lemons v. Bradbury can be read at www.telladf.org/UserDocs/LemonsComplaint.pdf.
ADF is a legal alliance defending the right to hear and speak the Truth through strategy, training, funding, and litigation.
Lemons v. Bradbury
The above lawsuit follows prodigious and tireless efforts by the Restore America/Concerned Oregonians Team in conjunction with ADF attorneys to confront the unlawful and unwarranted refusal by State and County officials to accurately verify signatures for Referendum 303 relating to the repeal of Oregon House Bill 2007.
You are encouraged to read the entire filing, and support our efforts financially. We are a faith based tax deductible non profit organization dependent upon the good will and support of our readers. Donations between December 1 and the end of December qualify for the $17,500.00 Matching Grant and therefore double in value.
We are greatly encouraged and believe HB 2007 creating marriage by another name, through this lawsuit, will be placed on the November 2008 General Election Ballot for Oregonian Voters to VOTE on. Please help us make that a reality.
"Impress upon your children the truth that the exercise of the elective franchise is a social duty of as solemn a nature as man can be called to perform; that a man may not innocently trifle with his vote; that every elector is a trustee as well for others as himself and that every measure he supports has an important bearing on the interests of others as well as on his own." Daniel Webster, October 5, 1840
Copyright © 2007, Restore America. All Rights Reserved.
This Advent, which is called the "little Lent", let us pray to Mary, the Undoer of Knots to straighten things out at the legislature, in our Church and in ourselves.
" Accusations that the Church is homophobic are "simply ideological and false," says Archbishop Angelo Bagnasco.
"We calmly say that this criticism is simply ideological and false, and contrary to the spirit and practice of total acceptance of all people."
Archbishop Bagnasco, responding to criticism directed at Benedict XVI, said: "I would like to express to the Pope the heartfelt closeness of the Italian bishops' conference for the superficial slanders made against him."
"It is Christ and his Gospel that urges us on, nothing else.
"We proclaim him as the measure of our humanity, not to reveal weaknesses or underline defeats, but to show obedience. That is essential, first and foremost, for us as bishops and promoters of true freedom for all."
"When we appeal to consciences," continued Archbishop Bagnasco, "it is not in order to be intrusive, but to call people back to those things without which each person would lose their bearings, especially for those less fortunate."
"Our words contain no hidden meanings," underlined the archbishop. "With the utmost transparency we are at the service of joy."
"We do not see a sad people, hollowed out by nihilism and tempted by decadence. We see a people who are alive, capable of renewing themselves through their own resources and discipline, able to lead their young people, able to speak credibly in an international assembly."
Remember "Justice in Pieces" CD donation of $5 is great, but it "could" be a Christmas present to you from me....:-) Learn about how the Am (American) Catholic Church is taking money from the Roman Catholic Church to undermine the TRUE Church Teaching.