Oct 2011 KTA: Rural Voices for Marriage Equality

Over the next month there will be some serious consideration on whether or not to bring a marriage equality measure to the ballot in 2012.  Is there the voter support to win in 2012?  That is why we are bringing you the October Kitchen Table Activism early this month, to invite your human dignity group to play a role in this decision.

WHAT IS THE ACTION? During the next month Basic Rights Oregon is running an ad campaign and calls to 20,000 voters talking to them about why marriage matters.  At the same time campaign experts, Oregon leaders and organizations, local leaders and others will be assessing and discussing whether or not this is the right time to go to the ballot. This month’s Kitchen Table Activism asks you and your group to decide if and how you might like to weigh into the conversation on whether or not there should be a marriage equality ballot measure in Oregon in 2012.  Opportunities include: participating in a survey, holding a phone bank in September to call voters, and hosting a Marriage Campaign Gathering the first weekend in November.

WHY THIS ACTION? At a time when the world is coping with so much extreme turmoil how does marriage matter?   We can take a lesson from the Arab Spring.  What was the single biggest demand of the man who lit himself on fire in Tunisia catalyzing a year of uprisings…. dignity.  He wanted to be treated as a whole person.  In this case, he just wanted the right to sell fruit.

This same demand is why we see the sunset of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” as a major victory for our movement (even as we’re ambivalent about the role of militarism as the battleground for dignity).  This demand for dignity is what started ROP in the early 1990s and this same demand underscores why marriage matters now and anytime.


1. Fill out this survey this week to share your opinion about a marriage equality ballot measure in Oregon in 2012

2. Help talk to voters and gain practice in talking about marriage equality!  Join a statewide phone bank.   All that is needed is a computer, internet access and a phone and you can be connected into a dial in program that lets you make a lot of calls really quickly.   Statewide phonebank opportunities through mid-October.

ROP will help you put together a phone bank party for next week – a few people calling together can be more fun than doing it alone (but you can also sign up to call on your own from your house). Sign up here for the phone bank.  Email cara@rop.org for support in putting together a phone bank party and/or to let ROP know you have signed up.

If you live near Eugene/Springfield or the Portland Metro area you can join an existing phone bank.

(And if you don’t have internet access while on the phone, let us know and we can set you up with a low tech calling option!).

3. Schedule a Marriage Campaign Gathering for your leaders and members now! Gather the weekend of Nov 3rd-6th. This will be a chance to review the latest information about whether we are likely to win a ballot measure in 2012 and share our thoughts about whether now is the time to launch this campaign.  You’ll hear from statewide leaders about public opinion research that will help us understand how Oregon voters think about marriage and whether they support the marriage equality ballot measure.  If things look good for the ballot measure, this will be a great time for your group to start the conversation on what role you might want to play in the early stages and in 2012.  If it looks unlikely that we’ll be able to win a ballot measure campaign in 2012, this will be a good time to dive into the research and for us to discuss how to build support for the freedom to marry in the next couple years.