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Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Oregon Legislature. This is a venue for political and policy coverage of the state government in Salem and its impact on the people of Oregon.

Gay Rights Advocates Gear Up To Fight Potential Ballot Measure

Gay rights advocates are waiting for a ruling from a federal judge on whether same-sex couples can get married in Oregon.

Those same advocates are also launching a campaign to defeat a potential ballot measure they say would discriminate against gay couples planning a wedding.

The group Oregonians United for Marriage is fired up about the measure. It would allow businesses and individuals to refuse to participate in or provide services for same-sex weddings. That could include people like musicians, bakers or florists.

The gay-rights group says it will devote part of its efforts to defeating this initiative. The group is running ads that compare the measure to Jim Crow laws in the old south.

The voice in one ad says, "We cannot allow businesses to discriminate against anyone. That would include gay and lesbian people who want to get married."

The measure is backed by Friends for Religious Freedom. Its attorney dismissed the ads. Shawn Lindsay says the point of the measure is to protect people with religious objections to gay marriage.

The measure isn’t on the ballot yet. The group has less than two months to collect enough signatures to qualify.