Campaign to turn away same-sex couples moves ahead

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A ballot measure is moving forward aimed at business owners who want to turn away same-sex couples whose weddings they object to for religious reasons.

The measure, titled the Protect Religious Freedom Initiative, seeks an exemption to Oregon’s anti-discrimination law, and comes one year after a suburban Portland bakery refused to bake a cake for a same-sex couple’s wedding because of its owners’ religious beliefs.

The initiative joins legislation in at least 10 other states, most of which withered and died under a national outcry that they would legalize discrimination. Oregon’s is the nation’s first voter-driven initiative to target businesses specifically for an exemption; other voter efforts have tried to create far broader religious exemptions.

The Oregon Supreme Court approved the final ballot language for the measure on Thursday.