Update, 4:55 pm: The group has announced it will cancel its campaign. It will file a lawsuit, instead.
Update, 4:46 pm: The Associated Press is reporting the campaign has elected to move forward, though isn't saying where it got that information. Repeated calls to the Friends of Religious Freedom haven't been returned.
Friends of Religious Freedom, the group pushing a measure that would allow businesses to refuse service to some gay customers, is planning to release a statement later this afternoon on whether the campaign will go forward.
According to a woman who answered the phone at the Oregon Family Council, an affiliated group, leaders of the campaign are meeting this afternoon to discuss next steps. The group's initiative, the "Protect Religious Freedom Initiative" was dealt something of a blow yesterday, when the Oregon Supreme Court approved ballot language that includes repeated use of the word "discrimination." The campaign had sought to have that language removed, arguing it casts the initiative in an overly-negative light for voters.
Asked whether or not the campaign planned to continue, the OFC representative said: "They are discussing that at the moment . They will be releasing a statement at the end of the day."
The woman wasn't sure if a decision was made, she said. Calls to the group's attorney, Shawn Lindsay, haven't been returned.
If the campaign were to fold, it would be an enormous win for Oregon's gay rights advocates, who also appear close to overturning the state's ban on gay marriage. A decision on the legality of Measure 36, the 2004 constitutional change that outlawed same-sex marriage in Oregon, could come as early as Wednesday, when US District Court Judge Michael McShane will hear arguments in an ongoing lawsuit.
With victory potentially close on that front, activists have turned their attention on the anti-gay marriage initiative. It would give people—and businesses and corporations—legal cover for refusing to provide services associated with gay weddings, civil unions, and commitment ceremonies.
If Friends of Religious Freedom decides to go forward, it has until July 3 to collect more than 87,000 valid signatures. That's a challenge, but would be far from impossible.