Jack Pollock
BRO's NEW SUIT Nearly three months after a majority of Oregonians voted to ban same-sex marriage, Basic Rights Oregon is fighting back. On Monday, the state's lead advocacy group for gays and lesbians filed a lawsuit that challenges the legality of the amendment.

The case, Martinez v. Kulongoski, which seeks to invalidate the amendment is primarily based on the rationale that Measure 36 revises basic principles of the state constitution--a legal no-no. By denying same-sex couples elementary rights guaranteed by the state's constitution, BRO argues, Measure 36 runs afoul of the idea that only the state legislature--and not voters--can revise the constitution.

The lawsuit goes further to claim that Measure 36 amends a laundry list of clauses in the constitution--another legal no-no. Voter initiatives can only amend one section of the constitution at a time. But, to take effect, Measure 36 will need to revise several sections. Essentially, the lawsuit claims that Measure 36 has committed several technical errors.

When asked why BRO waited three months to level the legal challenge, Communications Director Rebekah Kassell said the group opted to proceed cautiously rather than heatedly. (For more information, see Feature, Page 9.)

Meanwhile, the original lawsuit filed by same-sex couples demanding marriage rights from the state is still awaiting a decision from the Oregon Supreme Court. No decision is expected in that case any time before April. SCOTT MOORE

PLAYING FAVORITES? With Portland Development Commission's plans for turning the Burnside Bridgehead into a giant Home Depot running head-on into public opinion, PDC has retreated. After originally declaring that they would choose late February, last week PDC changed its mind. The new date will be April 27.

Over the course of two months of public testimony, Beam Construction--with its plans for eco-roofs and locally owned businesses--clearly emerged as the public's favorite choice. But PDC's decision will allow the other two developers--who both originally pushed for big-box stores--to revamp their plans.

The next opportunity for public testimony is Wednesday, February 9, PDC Headquarters, 222 NW 5th, 3-5 pm. PB