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Oregon students walk out to protest ban on same-sex marriage

Oregon students walk out to protest ban on same-sex marriage

The students at North Eugene High School in Oregon were too young to vote in this week's election, but they were old enough to be upset with the adults who cast ballots. More than 100 students walked out of their classes Thursday to protest the approval of Measure 36, the proposal to amend the state constitution to ban same-sex marriage, which was decisively approved by Oregon voters. Kristin "Khushi" Shrestha, 16, said the protest grew out of the frustration students felt Wednesday morning. "Everybody came to school and they were so depressed," she said. "Our world is changing before our eyes. Our rights are going down the drain, and there's nothing we can do about it because we can't even vote yet." The students marched to a busy intersection, holding banners while chanting, "Equal rights! Equal rights!" Police warned the students to stay on the sidewalk, and some "Yes on 36" kids rode their bikes in front of the protesters. Other than that, there was no trouble. The organizers arrived at school early to make signs, banners, and a small flier to let other students know about the planned walkout during fifth period, which starts at 2 p.m. Students estimated that as many as 200 students joined the vocal procession. By 3:30, about 100 students were still clustered on the sidewalk, holding signs for passing motorists. "You know there's something wrong where you get this big of a reaction from the youth," said Rebecca Wells, 17. Kay Graham, the assistant principal, was keeping a watchful eye "to see that nobody gets hurt." She said the students will face the same consequences as any student skipping class, such as getting no credit for work they missed or credit for that day of school.

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