The ballot measure will read: "Only marriage between one man and one woman is valid or legally recognized as marriage." On Monday, Oregon's secretary of state announced that a controversial voter initiative had gathered enough signatures and qualified for November's ballot.

Late this spring, the anti-gay organization In Defense of Marriage began a mad rush to gather signatures to qualify their ballot measure. Throughout the process, the signature gathering was dogged with complaints that In Defense of Marriage was coercing voters and wasn't following standard signature gathering procedures. It was also alleged that several churches were inappropriately promoting the initiative to their parishioners. But with the matter now on the ballot, those allegations are moot.

A recent poll found that 54 percent of Oregonians oppose same-sex marriage, while only 35 percent favor it. While those results are discouraging for civil rights advocates, the question asked by pollsters is also misleading: It only asks whether a voter favors or opposes gay marriage. It's another matter--and one that must be presented to voters--whether they want to deny equal rights. PB