Buzzkill From Likely Sources. Conservatives want to ruin our chance for equality in Oregon.

An organized group of social conservatives has been collecting petition signatures needed to block measures that will allow same-sex couples the same benefits as married straight couples, and protection against discrimination.

Leading the charge against gay rights in Oregon is former Republican Senator Marylin Shannon (shannon.sen@state.or.us or 503-986-1011 or 503-986-1715).

Two new fair-minded laws that are supposed to take effect on Jan. 1 2007 will be suspended until Oregon voters decide on them in November 2008, according to the group that’s opposing the new legislation.

If conservatives can collect 55,179 signatures by Sept. 26, the measures will be suspended until they can be voted on in the November 2008 election.

The executive director of the state’s largest gay rights group, Basic Rights Oregon, said it appears that opponents will be able gather enough signatures to keep the two laws on hold until next year’s general election.

Governor Ted Kulongoski supports legislation to end discrimination against lesbians and gays.

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