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Regional Politics and Policies in the Special Collections and Archives Research Center

Measure 9 (1992)

Following the success of the passage of Measure 8 just a few years prior, the Oregon Citizen's Alliance (OCA) worked to qualify Measure 9 for the 1992 ballot. Measure 9 was a proposed amendment to the Oregon Constitution that would have required all state and local governments to actively discourage homosexuality and other related "behaviors" and to not facilitate, condone, or recognize those behaviors. OCA eventually gathered enough signatures to qualify the measure to be placed on the ballot via an initiated constitutional amendment to be voted upon in the 1992 election cycle - notably, also a presidential election year. The measure read in full: 

"9. Amends Constitution; Government Cannot Facilitate, Must Discourage Homosexuality, Other "Behaviors"

Question - Shall constitution be amended to require that all governments discourage homosexuality, other listed "behaviors," and not facilitate or recognize them?

Summary - Amends Oregon Constitution. All governments in Oregon may not use their monies or properties to promote, encourage or facilitate homosexuality, pedophilia, sadism, or masochism. All levels of government, including public education systems, must assist in setting a standard for Oregon's youth which recognizes that these 'behaviors' are 'abnormal, wrong, unnatural and perverse' and that they are to be discouraged and avoided. State may not recognize this conduct under 'sexual orientation' or 'sexual preference' labels, or through 'quotas, minority status, affirmative action, or similar concepts.'"

The full text of the proposed amendment to the Oregon Constitution read:

A newsclipping titled "OLA votes no on 9""Paragraph 1. The Constitution of the State of Oregon is amended by creating a new section to be added to and made a part of Article I and to read:

Section

1. This state shall not recognize any categorical provision such as "sexual orientation," "sexual preference," and similar phrases that include homosexuality, pedophilia, sadism or masochism. Quotas, minority status, affirmative action, or any similar concepts, shall not apply to these forms of conduct, nor shall government promote these behaviors. 

2. State, regional and local governments and their properties and monies shall not be used to promote, encourage, or facilitate homosexuality, pedophilia, sadism or masochism. 

3. State, regional and local governments and their departments, agencies and other entities, including specifically the State Department of Higher Education and the public schools, shall assist in setting a standard for Oregon's youth that recognizes homosexuality, pedophilia, sadism and masochism as abnormal, wrong, unnatural, and perverse and that these behaviors are to be discouraged and avoided. 

4. It shall be considered that it is the intent of the people enacting this section that if any part thereof is held unconstitutional, the remaining parts shall be held in force."

The measure was defeated by a vote of 56.47% to 43.54%.

Archival Materials

The Special Collections and Archives Research Center holds several collections that make note of Measure 9 and the activism that organized around it. 

In addition, other repositories also hold a significant amount of information about Measure 9:

Finally, a search in Oregon Digital for "Measure 9" yields thousands of results, including mentions of the measure in the Daily Barometer, as well as several oral history interviews with prominent activists in Lane County as part of the Eugene Lesbian Oral History Project.