A referendum may be needed to allow voters to make the final judgment on the “pagan morality” endorsed by the Oregon Legislature’s approval of one plan to create “gay” marriage and another to grant homosexuals civil rights minority protections, pro-family groups say.
David Crowe, of the Restore America ministry said the referendum is one option being considered following the votes in the state House approving the two plans. The votes were 34-26 in favor of “gay” marriage in the state and 35-25 on Senate Bill 2 in favor of granting homosexuals the protected status as a civil rights minority.
“So one option is a referendum that would put the issues before voters, he said. “I don’t think we can allow this not to happen,” he said. “I think the people are outraged. For us as Christians to roll over when there’s still another stop to go isn’t right.”
Vernon M. Marks, superintendent of the Oregon Assemblies of God churches, has said the more than 30,000 members of those churches want the plans rejected. He said they would “violate the very moral and ethical foundations of our culture.”
He also said the legislation would “disregard fundamental biblical guidelines for the sanctity of traditional family” as well has ignore the state’s “overwhelming” vote to preserve traditional marriage. The legislation itself would create discrimination against parents caring for handicapped adult children as well as parental moral values and convictions.
Lastly, it would “infringe on the constitutional protection of the free exercise of religion,” he said.
Crowe said Christian leaders from around the state, including many who worked on the campaign three years ago through which voters decided to limit marriage in the state to one man and one woman, are planning a meeting to discuss the next steps.
“I have to do something,” he told WND. “Someone has to do it, or the Christian community is sending the signal we’ll put sandbags around the church but the rest of you are on your own and we’ll just watch this moral freefall.
“That’s not really loving your neighbor,” he said. “We have the opportunity to clarify to the public what is moral and what is not.
“We can communicate that we Christians are not stupid and we are concerned about others. These plans affect everybody’s free speech, family and religious rights,” he said.
While more than 55,000 signatures of registered voters would be needed to take that step, Crowe said he collected 12,000 signatures on a petition against the state’s Senate Bill 2 in just a short period of time.
A total of about 500 pastors from across the state have gathered to express to the Legislature the opposition of the tens of thousands of Oregonians in their churches to the plans.
John Fortmeyer, publisher of the Christian News Northwest reported that the Legislature gave the appearance of allowing public input, but didn’t really allow those comments to change any decisions.
“Also, PRAY!” said a message from Marks to the church group’s pastors. “This is possibly the most dangerous piece of legislation to come from Oregon’s legislature.”
The Constitution Party said the plan is a “recipe for civil war.”
“Everyone should read this legislation. It clearly gives those who choose non-traditional sexual behavior preference over those with traditional moral values,” said state Chairman Jack Brown. “This legislation will lock religious people inside their church buildings and let perversion occupy the rest of the landscape!”
Crowe said the first legislative bill simply overturns what voters approved: the status of marriage being limited to one man and one woman. The new plan calls for “domestic partnerships,” changed recently from “civil unions,” but he said it amounts to the same thing.
The second plan, classifying homosexuals as a protected minority, is “the most sweeping and culturally devastating law in Oregon history, establishing pagan morality under the guise of a ‘civil right,’ and imposing it upon all Oregonians under the cover of ‘law,’” Crowe said.
Among its provisions?
“A clause that talks about developing a program of education to change our attitudes,” Crowe said. “To change our attitudes? Is it the government’s business to change attitudes? But that’s precisely what’s in the bill.”
Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski
The plans have been approved by both legislative houses and once minor amendments are approved, they will head for Democratic Gov. Ted Kulongoski, who has expressed support for the plans.
The civil rights changes would give broad new powers to homosexuals and would impact churches, businesses, individuals, school children and others.
Crowe said homosexuals could demand that churches hire them, business owners would be facing huge costs to make “accommodations” for employees choosing that alternative lifestyle and schools would be forced to make those accommodations as well as teach the abolition of traditional family values.
The “civil unions” plan “defied the people of Oregon who clearly said in 2004 that they wanted marriage to be between a man and a woman only,” Crowe said. And the civil rights blessings for homosexuals came from “a scene of the worst sort of obfuscation, assertion without facts, feelings without wisdom, and political chicanery you can imagine.”
“The people of Oregon deserve people in office who respect their wishes, not those of a small minority who wish to impose their morality upon others while forcing acquiescence by using the authority of human law, in disregard of God’s Law,” he said. “Our next step in opposing these bills is a Referral to the people of Oregon. They have the right to approve or disapprove the actions of the legislature.”
Crowe said he attended the hearings on the proposals, and Democrats in support of the proposals were unable to answer such questions as what sexual acts would be protected by the civil rights legislation, would pedophiles find new protection from prosecution, and who defines “sexual orientation.”
“[The questions] were so good it made the Democrats look like fools, saying, ‘We didn’t address that,’” he said.
The state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, meanwhile, praised the action. Executive Director David Fidanque that they would move Oregon towards “a just society for all.’
“[Under S.B. 2], it will be legal for a man to walk into a women’s shower, locker or rest room, as long as he keeps his underwear on, and anyone who complained (spell discriminate), could be sued under S.B. 2!” Crowe said.
The need for such a dramatic change, Crowe said, has been documented as unnecessary. While there have been about 170 cases of such same-sex discrimination reported since 2000, a state agency has confirmed the validity of only a handful of cases.
Churches would be exempted under the affirmative action-type program only if the situation “is closely connected” to the “primary purposes” of the church. Making that determination already would be assigned to the court system.
“The bill forces Christians and specifically Churches to ACCEPT this lifestyle, not TOLERATE it, that is unacceptable,” said Kathy, on the Baltimore Reporter blog.
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