Last week, the raging debate over Measure 36 went primetime with the Defense of Marriage Coalition airing its anti-gay marriage message in three television ads. Two of DOMC's ads rely solely on conservative and religious sentiments. But one of the commercials attempts to present a legal argument for Measure 36. With a backdrop of legal texts, a voiceover claims that foes of gay marriage were "forced" into the amendment process when Multnomah County commissioners began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples in March. The ad concludes by arguing that Measure 36 wouldn't "change the constitution."

Both of these claims are factually inaccurate. Even before county commissioners redrafted Multnomah County's marriage policies, DOMC was already working on a ballot measure banning same-sex marriages. Moreover, in spite of DOMC's claims that Measure 36 won't change the constitution, by definition the role of any amendment does just that.

"The measure not only changes the exact language of the constitution, but also the spirit of it," says No On 36 spokesperson Rebekah Kassell. "Oregon voters deserve to have honest information about what they're voting on," she adds.

DOMC ads are currently running a handful of times a week at odd hours, but their frequency will double over the next few weeks. The No On 36 campaign (those in support of same-sex marriage) began airing radio spots September 20th; television ads start next week. The Basic Rights Oregon Education Fund, which is legally and politically separate from the campaign, is currently airing ads supporting marriage for same-sex couples without explicitly addressing the amendment.

Meanwhile, Corvallis council members George Grosch and Tina Empol have followed the lead of the Portland and Eugene city councils, which both unanimously adopted resolutions announcing the councils' opposition to Measure 36. Before Corvallis city council can consider a similar measure, it must pass through the city's legislative committee this week.

If the committee rejects the resolution or opts to not take a position, Grosch said he'll force it to a vote before the full council in early October. Even if it doesn't pass, he said, the vote would serve to make councilors' positions a matter of public record.

There was no word if any other cities or municipalities have plans to discuss similar measures, and several calls to city councilors around the state were not returned.