A gay couple holds hands during their marriage ceremony at the Washtenaw County Clerk's Office in Ann Arbor, Mich., on March 22, 2014.
Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times/Redux

Oregon Gov. hopeful links gay marriage with murder

A Republican hoping to become the Beaver State’s next governor likened same-sex marriage to murder during an interview published Tuesday by The Oregonian.

Lorraine Mae Rafferty, one of six gubernatorial candidates in Oregon’s Republican primary, dubbed herself the most conservative hopeful in the race. When asked about some of the issues potentially facing voters, such as same-sex marriage, the 52-year-old business owner laid out her position.

“I would have to say, I definitely believe that that is wrong,” she said during the four-minute videotaped interview. “I believe it’s a sin, just the same as murder’s a sin.”

Rafferty also said she considered abortion to be murder and expressed her desire to teach Oregonians that “a baby in the womb is a human being.”

Oregon could potentially see marriage equality on the ballot next November, so long as organizers net 116,284 valid signatures by July 3. Though sponsors say they’ve already reached that goal, they promised on Tuesday to drop their campaign if a federal judge ruled quickly in a case challenging the state’s ban on same-sex marriage.

U.S. District Judge Michael McShane has scheduled oral arguments for April 23 on two consolidated lawsuits seeking to overturn Oregon’s 2004 voter-approved amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman. Oregon United for Marriage wants McShane to issue his decision by May 23 – the deadline for the group to submit their ballot initiative signatures for early review.

“Oregon is closer than ever to winning marriage for all loving, committed couples in our state,” said Mike Marshall, campaign manager of Oregon United for Marriage, in a statement. “We would prefer a quick resolution of the court cases, and, if possible, to avoid an expensive marriage campaign, especially now that we are facing an Arizona-style discrimination measure that would allow businesses to turn people away from commercial services because of who they are and whom they love.”

According to a 2012 survey from Public Policy Polling, 54% of Oregonians said they would vote to legalize same-sex marriage. Undoubtedly, that number is even higher now, following a year that saw two Supreme Court victories for marriage equality and a near twofold increase in the number of states that allow it.

By Rafferty’s logic, that would mean a majority of people she’s hoping to represent are sinners.

Marriage Equality

Oregon Gov. hopeful links gay marriage with murder