12-02-2021  7:55 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4

NORTHWEST NEWS

Sen. Manning on the Year Ahead and the Year That Was

Prominent BIPOC Caucus member concerned with gun regulation, access to Covid-19 testing

Dozens of Oregon Workers Fired for Not Getting COVID Shot

Officials in Oregon say at least 99 state workers have been fired for failing to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

Attorney General Rosenblum Says She Won’t Run for Governor

Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum on Monday put to rest rumors and officially said she will not enter Oregon’s crowded race for governor.

Portland’s Black Population Grew in the Last Decade, but That’s Not the Whole Story

The Black population in North and Northeast Portland declined by 13.5% over the last 10 years as more than 3,000 Black residents moved away, new numbers from the 2020 census show.

NEWS BRIEFS

Oregon's Cannabis Industry Could Be More Vulnerable Than Ever

Portland is the first in the country to allocate cannabis tax revenue to relieve the industry's impacts of...

Open Enrollment Deadline Is Dec. 15 for Health Insurance Coverage Starting Jan. 1, 2022

Help applying and financial assistance is available through the Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace ...

Commissioners From Three Counties Select Lawrence-Spence to Fill Senate District 18 Vacancy

District 18 includes portions of west Portland and Tigard. ...

Congressional Black Caucus Issues a Statement on the Passing of Former Congresswoman Carrie P. Meek

Meek, the first Black person to represent Florida in Congress since the post-Civil War Reconstruction, died Sunday, Nov. 28 at her...

Vsp Global Partners With Black EyeCare Perspective to Eliminate Inequities and Increase Representation of People of Color in the Eye Care Industry

Partnership includes scholarships, leadership development, and outreach to prospective optometrists ...

Yakama Nation approves school district use of Warrior image

YAKIMA, Wash. (AP) — Yakama Nation officials said this week they will allow a rural school district in central Washington to continue the use of the Wahluke Warrior image while a plan for respectful usage is developed. The Yakima Herald-Republic reports the Wahluke School...

Christmas tree buyers face reduced supplies, higher prices

ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) — Even Christmas trees aren’t immune to the pandemic-induced shortages and inflation plaguing the economy. Extreme weather and supply chain disruptions have reduced supplies of both real and artificial trees this season. American shoppers should expect...

No. 25 Arkansas beats Missouri, caps best season since 2011

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) — Sam Pittman grinned for almost the entirety of his postgame press conference Friday night. The Arkansas coach and his team had done something no others ever had. The No. 25 Razorbacks capped their regular season with a 34-17 victory over Missouri,...

Mizzou's Drinkwitz returning to Arkansas for rivalry game

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) — Just 45 miles of interstate highway separate Eli Drinkwitz from where he started and where he is now as Missouri's head football coach. Raised in the small Arkansas town of Alma, Drinkwitz will come full circle Friday when his Tigers visit No. 25...

OPINION

State is Painting Lipstick on Its One-of-a-kind, Long-term-care Law

Starting in January, the unpopular law imposes a stiff new tax of 58 cents per 0 earned for every worker in the state ...

Giving Thanks

Just by being alive we can be sure of having moments of sadness as well as happiness. When you’re active in politics, you experience both wins and losses. Sometimes it can be hard to feel grateful. ...

Acting on Climate will Require an Emphasis on Environmental Justice

Climate change affects us all, but its effects aren’t distributed equally. ...

Small Businesses Cannot Survive With Current Level of Postal Service

At The Skanner News office we received an important piece of correspondence that was postmarked June 12, 2021, and delivered to us on November 4, 2021. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Florida law school creates Ben Crump social justice center

A law school in South Florida will announce on Thursday the creation of a social justice center named after Ben Crump, the Black civil rights attorney who has gained national notoriety representing victims of police brutality and vigilante violence. The Benjamin L. Crump Center...

AP source: Notre Dame set to promote Freeman to head coach

Notre Dame is working on a deal to promote defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman to head coach to replace Brian Kelly, a person with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press on Wednesday night. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because nothing had been...

Biden says HIV/AIDS strategy needs to confront inequity

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden on Wednesday unveiled his new HIV/AIDS strategy to end the more than 40-year-old epidemic, calling for a renewed focus on vulnerable Americans — including gay and bisexual Black and Latino men, who his administration says are too often stigmatized even as...

ENTERTAINMENT

Dystopia, 'she-cession,' TikTok dances: We're over you, 2021

NEW YORK (AP) — The pandemic, politics, pervasive anxiety over the climate and the economy. Did 2021 leave us any time to ponder anything else? As we limp our way into a new year, there are a few more things we'd like to leave behind, from pop culture's obsession with all things apocalyptic to...

Smollett defense set to cross-examine star state witness

CHICAGO (AP) — Jussie Smollett’s legal team Thursday will seek to dent the credibility of a star state witness who the day before testified that the former “Empire” actor recruited him and his brother to stage a racist, homophobic attack on Smollett. But casting doubts...

Jacqueline Avant, wife of music legend, killed in shooting

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — Jacqueline Avant, a Los Angeles philanthropist and the wife of legendary music executive Clarence Avant, was fatally shot at their home in Beverly Hills, California, early Wednesday, police said. Police and paramedics arrived at the home after a...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Live updates: Germany shuts out unvaccinated, eyes mandate

BERLIN - Germans who aren’t vaccinated are to be excluded from nonessential stores, cultural and recreational...

EXPLAINER: Why was Michigan suspect charged with terrorism?

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan prosecutors on Wednesday charged a teen with terrorism in a deadly mass shooting...

US warns Russia as Kremlin talks about war threat in Ukraine

MOSCOW (AP) — The Kremlin voiced concern Thursday about a possible escalation of fighting in a separatist...

AP PHOTOS: Drama festival puts spotlight on Romanian inmates

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Performing on the main stage of the Nottara Theatre in downtown Bucharest is a dream...

Paris archbishop who had 'ambiguous' relationship resigns

PARIS (AP) — Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of the archbishop of Paris after he admitted to an...

US defense chief slams China's drive for hypersonic weapons

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — America's defense chief rebuked China on Thursday, vowing to confront its potential...

Julie Pace the Associated Press

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) -- President Barack Obama could be caught in an election-year bind on gay marriage, wedged between the pressure of supporters who want him to back same-sex marriage and the political perils of igniting an explosive social issue in the midst of the campaign.

Interviews with gay rights advocates and people close to Obama's campaign suggest it is no longer a matter of if, but when the president publicly voices his support. But Obama backers are split over whether that will happen before the November elections.

Gay marriage is already a big issue in a handful of states where it is on the ballot in November, including Maine, where Obama was headlining two fundraisers Friday. He was not expected to wade into the issue during his remarks.

The president also was headlining fundraisers Friday in Vermont, one of six states, plus the District of Columbia, where gay marriage is legal.

Once an opponent of gay marriage, Obama declared in 2010 that his personal views on the subject were "evolving." He has gone no further in public since then.

People familiar with the Obama campaign's deliberations have tamped down expectations that the president might declare his support for gay marriage before the election. They say the campaign's internal conversations on the issue focus instead on how to energize gay and lesbian voters in spite of Obama's lack of clarity on the issue.

Public support for gay marriage is increasing in the U.S., including among the independent voters who are a key to general election success.

But regardless of whether Obama has made up his mind on the subject, it's not the topic his campaign wants to be talking about heading into an election expected to be decided largely on economic issues. As White House and campaign officials learned all too well during the controversy over birth control access earlier this year, stepping into social issues - even those with Democratic support - can quickly throw the president's message off course.

While Obama aides saw the contraception issue as an important appeal to women voters, there may be little election-year payoff for the president taking a stand on gay marriage.

Obama's record on gay rights issues, including the repeal of the military's ban on openly gay service members and an order for the Justice Department not to enforce a provision that defines marriage as between one man and one woman, has already solidified the overwhelming backing of gay rights supporters. His Republican rivals, including GOP front-runner Mitt Romney, not only oppose gay marriage, but also some other legal protections for gays and lesbians.

As for Obama, "The gay rights community is now enthusiastically in his corner in terms of the re-election, so the pressure to deliver before the election is off," said Richard Socarides, a prominent gay rights advocate.

The risk in Obama publicly backing gay marriage before the election is that it could become a rallying cry for conservatives who have thus far been reluctant to get behind Romney.

Still, many Democrats and gay rights advocates believe Obama may end up being forced to take a position on the issue before November.

The most pressing effort comes from within Obama's own party. Several high-profile Democrats, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and more than 20 Senate Democrats, want support for gay marriage added to the party's election platform. The platform will be adopted at the Democratic National Convention in early September, where Obama will accept the presidential nomination.

So far, Obama advisers have sidestepped questions about whether he would support a gay marriage plank on the platform.

"We don't even have a platform committee yet, much less a platform," Obama senior adviser David Plouffe said in a television interview.

A person close to the Obama campaign said the president's re-election team is wary of the platform effort and prefers to let the president move on the issue at his own pace.

People familiar with the campaign's thinking requested anonymity in order to discuss internal strategy.

Gay rights advocates hope state ballot initiatives on gay marriage, like the one in Maine, could force Obama to weigh in, as he has on other state issues.

"He's going to be in a lot of situations like this where the issue becomes unavoidable," said Socarides, a former Clinton White House official. "Even though he might want to avoid this, I think he's going to come up right against it in so many situations in the next couple of months."

Obama's reluctance to embrace gay marriage has increasingly put him at odds with a majority of Americans. A Washington Post/ABC News poll this month found that 52 percent felt it should be legal for gay and lesbian couples to get married, while 43 percent said it should be illegal.

Support for gay marriage is highest among Democrats, with 64 percent supportive of the issue. Just over half of independents - 54 percent - back legalized gay marriage, according to the Post/ABC poll. Support among Republicans is the lowest, at 39 percent.

Gay rights advocates say those numbers - particularly the growing support among independents - suggest there would be little political risk for Obama in backing gay marriage. And they say taking a stand in an election year could help boost enthusiasm among gay voters and young people, two core Obama constituencies.

Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt said the president's evolution on gay marriage will be personal, not political.

"The president and the president alone will come to a decision," LaBolt said.

Maine's state Legislature approved gay marriage in 2009, but voters rejected it 53 percent to 47 percent that November. Gay marriage supporters believe enough people have changed their minds that the outcome will be different this time around.

---

Associated Press Deputy Director of Polling Jennifer Agiesta in Washington and AP writers David Sharp and Clarke Canfield in Portland, Maine contributed to this report.

© 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

Photo Gallery

Photos and slide shows of local events