Oregonian Judges Not Feeling Anti-Gay Movt.

Oregonian social conservatives hit another road block yesterday. The activists, who are pushing to include two anti-gay initiatives on this November’s ballot, claim the state unfairly disqualified many of their petition’s 54,900 signatures. A panel of federal judges disagreed:

Austin R. Nimocks, lead lawyer for the group opposing the new law, told a U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals panel that Oregon’s system of qualifying initiatives and referendums was unconstitutional because it arbitrarily discounted some valid signatures.

“The obligation of the state is to make sure the verification is accurate,” Nimocks said. “That’s not what they are doing.”

But Judge Stephen Reinhardt challenged Nimocks, noting that the state’s system actually seemed to count more invalid signatures than it excluded valid ones.

“The state could make a better system,” Reinhardt said. “But this one actually favors you.”

Judges Harry Pregerson and Ted Goodwin also challenged Nimocks. But Reinhardt was the chief inquisitor, at one point concluding that Oregon’s system of verifying signatures “doesn’t seem unconstitutional.”

The judges gave no word on when they would rule, but anti-gay activists are hoping the state will review the verification system and give invalid signatories a chance to plead their case. Kaye McDonald, an assistant in the state’s Attorney General’s office, said that while the state could, in theory, begin reviewing the signatures, it would take months of legal wrangling and public hearings. And no one wants that – except for social conservatives, of course.

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  • ajax

    May I make a suggestion, Queerty? By and large, the media incorrectly labels people and organizations who foster and support anti-gay legislation as “social conservatives”. Conservatives actually believe legislation that impinges on individual freedom is bad and contrary to our Constitution. True conservatives wouldn’t support the legislation these people and groups put foward. Can we please begin to refer to these people more correctly as “social reactionaries” or “social fundamentalists”?

  • Qjersey

    well ajax, while you are correct, the republicrats have managed to convince the public and the media to buy their definitions of conservative and liberal. They did the same thing 50 years ago and convinced the public that socialist means the same thing as communist.

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