Basic Rights Oregon ran two state-wide TV ad campaigns, conducted an online survey, did door-to-door canvassing, and concluded that there isn't enough popular support for legalizing gay marriage to justify the risk of putting the question on the 2012 ballot. Sounds to me like a smart process produced a smart decision. Advocates in other states who are considering affirmatively move putting marriage rights up for a popular vote are, I hope, engaging in the same kind of analysis. Better to wait and win.
From The Oregonian:
Oregonians now appear about evenly divided on a proposed ballot initiative to legalize gay marriage and to overturn the constitutional ban against same-sex marriage approved by voters in 2004, [Executive Director Jeana] Frazzini said.
The weak economy and high rates of unemployment and home foreclosures also create a tough climate for a political campaign over a social issue, she said.
Basic Rights members favor waiting at least until the next opportunity for an initiative ballot in 2014 before plunging into a politically difficult campaign that would cost $5 million to $10 million, she said.
National polls last spring showed support for same-sex marriage, which has climbed for the last seven years, hit the majority milestone. An ABC News/Washington Post poll in March and a Gallup Poll in May showed 53 percent of Americans in support. A Public Policy Polling survey of Oregon voters in June, however, found that 48 percent of voters support same-sex marriage. Basic Rights members want to see more support before they go to the ballot.