PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The sponsors of a measure to permit Oregon business owners to turn away same-sex couples whose weddings they object to for religious reasons have abandoned their campaign.
Friends of Religious Freedom said Friday it will suspend the ballot initiative and instead pursue a lawsuit on behalf of business owners who object to same-sex weddings.
The Oregon Supreme Court approved the ballot language on Thursday. The campaign suspended its efforts 24 hours later, saying the ballot language as written by the office of the Oregon attorney general was unacceptable.
The campaign sought to portray the issue as one that frees business owners from having to violate their religious beliefs by abiding by Oregon law.
"But the certified ballot title does not acceptably state this," Friends of Religious Freedom said in the release issued late Friday afternoon. "Indeed, it states it as intolerant instead of protecting equal rights of conscience."
The ballot language approved said a "Yes" vote "creates 'religious belief' exceptions to anti-discrimination laws," language the measure's supporters said unfairly prejudiced voters against them.
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