Opponents of same-sex marriage want to make the following amendment to the Oregon constitution: "It is the policy of Oregon, and its political subdivisions, that only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or legally recognized as marriage."

Though the question of same-sex marriage is already being taken to the state Supreme Court, organizations like the Defense of Marriage Coalition (DOMC), are attempting to make an end run around the court's decision by pushing this constitutional amendment. If passed, Measure 36 would override the Oregon Bill of Rights--which grants all Oregonians equal treatment under the law. It would also deny same-sex couples basic rights that are allowed to every other citizen, such as:

--The right to visit a partner in the hospital;

-- The right to make life-saving medical decisions;

--The right to file a wrongful death suit, if the partner dies because of another person's negligence;

-- The right of a surviving partner to continue living in the family home;

-- And many, many more. See

www.noon36.com for more details.

While civil unions and a lot of legal paperwork could provide same-sex couples a modicum of this protection, Measure 36 is so strictly worded, it even denies the possibility of civil unions.

It's discrimination--plain and simple. We at the Mercury hope you'll join us in voting down this destructive affront to civil rights.