In a clever bipartisan effort, Carol Auger, executive director of the democratic party of Oregon, and Craig Berkman, chairman of the republican party of Oregon, sit side-by-side.
Berkman says, "We don't agree on how you should vote for president." Auger chimes in, "Or U.S. Senator" and Berkman adds, "Or representative or legislator."
"Quite honestly, we don't agree on very much," says Auger. Berkman: "But we both think you should vote no on 9."
Auger: "Any amendment to our constitution that forces us to discriminate is a dangerous idea. To Republicans and Democrats alike."
Berkman: "So make sure you vote on election day." Auger: "And vote Democratic." Berkman: "Vote Republican." Auger: "But vote no on 9." Berkman: "Vote no on 9."
The closing line is, "Vote No on 9, it's a danger to us all."
The group behind this commercial, Basic Rights Oregon, was able to create a number of commercials to fight the measure, which ultimately failed by a narrow margin.
Like commercials from other states in the political battle for protecting gay civil rights, this ad never mentions the words "gay or lesbian." It was a decision that proved controversial to some, who felt that the ads were too vague, while others felt that a broader approach was necessary to avoid turning off many voters.
Either way, during the heated environment in states that debated gay rights measures, reports of anti-gay violence increased dramatically.
Another effort from the OCA behind Measure 9 returned in 2000 to prohibit schools and community colleges from encouraging, promoting or sanctioning homosexual and bisexual behavior.