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NORTHWEST NEWS

Black Food Professionals See Opportunities to “Scale Up” in School Cafeterias and on Store Shelves

Two Portland women are addressing disparities in the local food scene with Ethiopian and Haitian flavors, ingredients

Portland Fire Chief Sara Boone Climbing Historic Ladders

In 1995, Boone was the first African American woman hired by Portland Fire & Rescue; this year she became its first African American Chief

Christmas Tree Shopping is Harder Than Ever, Thanks to Climate Change and Demographics

For Christmas tree farms to survive, shoppers will need to be more flexible

November Holiday Travel at PDX Brings More Comfort, Convenience and Furry Friends

If you’ve not been to Portland International Airport in a few months, you’re in for some surprises.

NEWS BRIEFS

Conservation Breakthrough for Endangered Butterfly

The Oregon Zoo's breeding success provides new hope in an effort to save Oregon silverspots ...

Meet 80 Local Authors at OHS 52nd Holiday Cheer Book Sale and Signing

This free Oregon Historical Society event will be held this Sunday, December 8 from 12 p.m. – 4 p.m. ...

Need for Blood Doesn’t Stop for Holidays – Donors Needed

Those who come to give through Dec. 18 will receive a Amazon.com Gift Card ...

North Carolina Court Decision Upholds Removal of Confederate Monument

Lawyers argued that the monument was installed at the end of Reconstruction to further the false “Lost Cause” narrative,...

Artist Talk with 13-year-old Local to be Held This Tuesday, Nov. 26

Hobbs Waters will be discussing his solo exhibit “Thirteen” at The Armory in Portland ...

Oregon to change policy after losing parental rights fight

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon officials who attempted to end the parental rights of a couple because of the parents' low IQs have reached an agreement with U.S. officials requiring the state follow federal civil rights laws.The Oregonian/OregonLive reports that the Oregon Department of Human...

Commercial ocean crabbing further delayed in Oregon

NEWPORT, Ore. (AP) — State shellfish managers say the opening of the commercial Dungeness crab season will be further delayed until at least Dec. 31 along the entire Oregon coast as testing shows crab are still too low in meat yield in half of the areas along the coast.The World reports the...

Missouri fires football coach Barry Odom after 4 seasons

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri fired football coach Barry Odom on Saturday, ending the four-year stay of a respected former player who took over a program in disarray but could never get the Tigers over the hump in the brutal SEC.The Tigers finished 6-6 and 3-5 in the conference after...

Powell, Missouri snap 5-game skid with win over Arkansas

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — In a game started by third- and fifth-string quarterbacks, the outcome was decided by one of their backups. It was appropriate enough for Arkansas and Missouri, two teams facing their longest losing streaks in decades.Fayetteville High School graduate Taylor Powell...

OPINION

Will You Answer the Call for Moral Revival?

In embracing and expanding the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Revs. Barber and Theoharis have asked Presidential candidates to consider a debate that focuses exclusively on poverty ...

What I’m Thankful For This Season

Ray Curry gives thanks for a human right that shaped our country throughout the 20th century and that made Thanksgiving possible for so many Americans who, like him, didn’t get here by way of the Mayflower ...

Congressional Black Caucus Members Visit U.S.-Mexico Border: “Mistreatment of Black Immigrants is Another ‘Stain on America’”

Members said they witnessed first-hand the deplorable treatment and plight of Black immigrants ...

Portland, I'm Ready

Last month I had the privilege to stand with hundreds of supporters and announce my intention to run for re-election ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

NFL At 100: Rooney Rule has its positives and its faults

In 2003, the NFL had three minority head coaches: future Pro Football Hall of Famer Tony Dungy, Herman Edwards and Marvin Lewis. In the 12 previous seasons, there had been six. Total. Considering that the majority of the players in the league 16 years ago were minorities, that imbalance was...

Voting site reopened in Georgia after grassroots fight

HAZLEHURST, Ga. (AP) — When local election officials shut down a polling site in a predominantly black area of a rural Georgia county, displaced voters couldn’t look to the federal government to intervene as it once did in areas with a history of racial disenfranchisement.So residents...

Haley: Killer 'hijacked' Confederate flag meaning for some

Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley said in an interview that a man who gunned down nine worshipers at an African American church in 2015 “hijacked” the ideals many connected to the Confederate battle flag.Haley told conservative political commentator and Blaze TV host Glenn Beck...

ENTERTAINMENT

R. Kelly charged with paying bribe before marrying Aaliyah

NEW YORK (AP) — Federal prosecutors are accusing singer R. Kelly of scheming with others to pay for a fake ID for an unnamed female a day before he married R&B singer Aaliyah, then 15 years old, in a secret ceremony in 1994.The revised indictment, filed Thursday in New York, accuses...

Bloomberg: His news reporters need to accept restrictions

NEW YORK (AP) — Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg says employees at his news organization need to accept restrictions with their paycheck, including the ban on investigating their boss.Bloomberg, billionaire founder of Bloomberg News, was asked in a CBS News interview about...

Billy Joel, Kardashians Diplo descend on Miami for Art Basel

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (AP) — As gallerists and collectors descend on Miami's most prestigious art fair by day, the Hollywood crowd knows it's all about the exclusive after parties. Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder and Pharrell were in town while DJ Khaled and rappers Travis Scott and Gucci Mane held...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

AP Exclusive: 629 Pakistani girls sold as brides to China

LAHORE, Pakistan (AP) — Page after page, the names stack up: 629 girls and women from across Pakistan who...

Family recounts heroics of fallen son in Pensacola shooting

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Joshua Watson had just graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy and looked forward to...

Venice tide barriers pass another test but skeptics remain

VENICE, Italy (AP) — Floated along by barge , one of the 10-ton barriers designed to relieve...

Belarus eyes closer integration with Russia, fueling protest

MINSK, Belarus (AP) — The leaders of Russia and Belarus sat down for talks Saturday on deepening ties...

AP PHOTOS: Ukraine war prisoners struggle to rebuild lives

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — For Anna Sergeyeva, rebuilding her life after surviving a week of captivity and...

Protests subside, but economic aftershocks rattle Haitians

Port-au-Prince (AP) — The flaming barricades are mostly gone, protesters have largely dissipated and...

McMenamins
David Crary AP National Writer


National Organization for Marriage president
Brian Brown

The leading national organization opposing same-sex marriage has sought to split the Democratic Party base by pitting African-Americans and Hispanics against gay-rights groups, according to confidential strategy memos made public by court officials in Maine.

"The strategic goal of this project is to drive a wedge between gays and blacks - two key Democratic constituencies," says one of the memos. It also suggests "interrupting" the process of cultural assimilation for Hispanics in hopes of curtailing support for same-sex marriage.

The documents, dating from 2009, were written by the National Organization for Marriage and had been kept from the public until Monday, when they were unsealed by court officials in Maine.

They were part of a two-pronged legal challenge of Maine's financial disclosure laws. Still unresolved is whether the NOM will have to release the names of donors to its successful 2009 campaign to ban same-sex marriage in Maine.

The Human Rights Campaign, a major gay-rights organization, first circulated the documents Monday night, and its president, Joe Solmonese, assailed the strategies that they detailed.

"With the veil lifted, Americans everywhere can now see the ugly politics that the National Organization for Marriage traffics in every day," Solmonese said. "While loving gay and lesbian couples seek to make lifelong commitments, NOM plays racial politics, tries to hide donors and makes up lies about people of faith."

Through the Human Rights Campaign, veteran civil rights leader Julian Bond also condemned the NOM strategy.

"NOM's underhanded attempts to divide will not succeed if Black Americans remember their own history of discrimination," said the statement from Bond, a former chairman of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. "Pitting bigotry's victims against other victims is reprehensible; the defenders of justice must stand together."

NOM's president, Brian Brown, was unapologetic, issuing a brief statement hailing his organization's collaboration with other black and Hispanic leaders, including Bishop Harry Jackson, a Maryland church pastor, and New York state Sen. Ruben Diaz Sr.

"Gay marriage advocates have attempted to portray same-sex marriage as a civil right, but the voices of these and many other leaders have provided powerful witness that this claim is patently false," Brown said.

"Gay marriage is not a civil right, and we will continue to point this out in written materials such as those released in Maine," Brown added. "We proudly bring together people of different races, creeds and colors to fight for our most fundamental institution: marriage."

The NOM documents depicted Democratic Party leaders as "increasingly inclined to privilege the concerns of gay rights groups over the values of African-Americans."

"Find, equip, energize and connect African-American spokespeople for marriage; develop a media campaign around their objections to gay marriage as a civil right; provoke the gay marriage base into responding by denouncing these spokesmen and women as bigots," one memo said.

The memos stressed the pivotal political role of Latinos as a swing constituency.

"Will the process of assimilation to the dominant Anglo culture lead Hispanics to abandon traditional family values?" one NOM memo asked. "We must interrupt this process of assimilation by making support for marriage a key badge of Latino identity ... a symbol of resistance to inappropriate assimilation."

The NOM strategy also called for portraying President Barack Obama as a "social radical" and seeking to cast same-sex marriage in a negative light by linking it to other issues, such as pornography and sexualizing of children.

Evan Wolfson of Freedom to Marry, a national advocacy group supporting same-sex marriage, said the memos suggest the NOM "will stop at nothing to push its agenda, pitting American against American, minority against minority, family members against family members."

"These smoking-gun documents show how NOM has sought, in the most cynical ways imaginable, to bait the gay community in hopes of provoking a hurt response that would further divide," he said.

The NOM is playing an active role this year as battles over same-sex marriage unfold in several states.

In Maryland and Washington, the organization and its allies are gathering signatures to place measures on the Nov. 6 ballot that would overturn recently passed same-sex marriage laws.

In Maine, it will be seeking defeat of a measure already placed on the November ballot that would legalize same-sex marriage. In North Carolina and Minnesota, the NOM is supporting ballot measures that would amend the state constitutions to define marriage as only between a man and woman.

The unsealed court documents illustrated that the NOM sometimes falls short of its goals. The memos said a priority for 2010 was to repeal gay-marriage laws in New Hampshire, Iowa, and Washington, D.C. But same-sex marriage remains in effect in those three jurisdictions along with Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont and New York.

The memos contained extensive details about NOM's finances, but they do not identify individual donors, including three who had given more than $1 million apiece as of late 2009.

In Maine, the group leading the campaign to legalize same-sex marriage - Mainers United for Marriage - announced the appointment of Matt McTighe as campaign manager. He had been the state public education director for Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, a Boston-based gay-rights law firm.

McTighe said he was reviewing the NOM documents Tuesday, but was troubled by what he saw on first take.

"We try to focus on telling the positive stories on why marriage matters to all committed loving couples in Maine, and here they are trying to use fear and scare tactics to turn people off," he said.

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Crary reported from New York. Associated Press writer Clarke Canfield in Portland, Maine, contributed to this report. David Crary can be followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/CraryAP .

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Online:

One of the unsealed NOM memos: http://bit.ly/GUGMhZ

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