Oregon gay couple campaign in favor of marriage ban

BY admin

October 05 2004 12:00 AM ET

A gay couple in Oregon is urging voters to permanently ban same-sex marriage in the state by passing a proposed constitutional amendment, in the form of a November 2 ballot initiative, that would define marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

In the battle over Measure 36--the proposed state constitutional ban on same-sex marriage--sponsors have taken the unusual step of running a TV ad featuring a gay couple from Eugene who say they support the measure.

In the ad, Lance Kropf says he and his partner, Mike Serface, "recognize the reasons for keeping marriage between one man and one woman.'' Says Serface: "We keep hearing about benefits that gays don't have because we're not married, but we've had no trouble getting benefits.''

The commercial does not mention the estimated 1,138 rights and responsibilities that are forbidden to same-sex couples but automatically afforded to straight married couples by the federal government. An additional 500 or so rights and responsibilities granted by each individual state to married couples are also out of reach to same-sex couples except in the states of Massachusetts, which allows same-sex marriage, and Vermont, where civil unions provide state benefits.

Kropf, who is the brother of state representative Jeff Kropf of Sublimity, says he and Serface volunteered to do the ad. "We wanted to convey a message that at this point, protections already exist in the law'' for same-sex couples, Lance Kropf said. Kropf did not elaborate on what alleged protections to which he is referring.

The spokeswoman for the No on 36 campaign, Rebekah Kassell, said Kropf and Serface "are entitled to their opinion" but that opponents plan to launch a TV ad campaign on October 11. "There's no question that there are thousands of couples who will be hurt by this amendment," she said.

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