11-16-2019  8:43 pm   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Veterans and Consumers Fair Credit Act Introduced

In honor of Veterans Day, Monday, Merkley, Brown, Reed, Van Hollen introduced legislation to extend financial protections for servicemembers to veterans and consumers

Home Base Keeps More Than 400 Families in Their Homes in Seattle

The United Way of King County program aims to reduce homelessness by preventing evictions

Jefferson High Sees Gains in Freshman Preparedness, Graduation Rates

New support positions aim to increase attendance rates among students who often struggle with displacement, homelessness

Nike Cuts Ties With Amazon, but Shoes Won’t Vanish From Site

Nike wants to focus on selling its swoosh-branded gear on its own site and apps

NEWS BRIEFS

Noose Found at Oregon Health & Science University

Surveillance cameras did not capture the area; investigator are reviewing who had access ...

DEQ Extends Air Quality Advisory Due to Stagnation

DEQ expects the air quality advisory to last until at least Tuesday, Nov. 12 ...

Forest Service Waives Fees in Honor of Veterans Day

The USDA Forest Service will waive fees at day-use recreation sites in Oregon and Washington on Monday, Nov. 11 in honor of Veterans...

Two Local Nonprofits Announced as Grant Recipients for Portland-Area Programs

Financial Beginnings Oregon and Portland Parks Foundation will receive a total of 0,000 plus leadership resources through Bank of...

State Seeks Volunteers to Rank Investments in Washington’s Outdoors

The Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office is recruiting 50 volunteers to evaluate grant proposals for parks, boating...

Texas Southern’s jerseys stolen before game at Oregon

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — Police say uniforms were stolen from Texas Southern’s women’s basketball team before their game at Oregon.Eugene Police say a black duffel bag containing all the jerseys was taken from a downtown hotel conference room Saturday.The Tigers wore practice...

Man arrested for arson after 4 Oregon fires

TIGARD, Ore. (AP) — Police in Oregon have arrested a man suspected of starting four fires in one day.Tigard Police says 26-year-old Joseph Tyler Martinez was arrested for arson. He’s suspected of setting four fires Thursday.Police say the first fire caused serious damage to the...

Trask, stingy defense lead Florida over Missouri, 23-6

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Nothing about Kyle Trask’s path to becoming Florida’s starting quarterback was easy. Something as trivial as a sluggish first half doesn’t rattle him.Trask threw two touchdown passes in the third quarter to help No. 11 Florida shake free of Missouri...

No. 11 Gators head to Mizzou hoping for another turnaround

It was only a year ago that Dan Mullen was asked about the state of his Florida program after he watched his team get humiliated by Missouri in the Swamp.His response already has become the stuff of legend.“They keep score. Someone wins and someone loses,” Mullen said, passion rising...

OPINION

Illinois Prison Bans Black History Books

Officials claim the works are ‘racial’ ...

5 Ways Life Would be Better if it Were Always Daylight Saving Time

A Professor from the University of Washington says DST saves lives and energy and prevents crime ...

Importance of Educators of Color for Black and Brown Students

A new report examines the ways that school leaders of color’s experiences and perspectives influence how they build school culture ...

Atatiana Jefferson, Killed by Police Officer in Her Own Home

Atatiana Jefferson, a biology graduate who worked in the pharmaceutical industry and was contemplating becoming a doctor, lived a life of purpose that mattered ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Sanders stars with Biden, Warren absent at California forum

LONG BEACH, Calif. (AP) — Bernie Sanders was greeted with booming cheers at a gathering of California Democrats Saturday, underscoring his popularity with the party’s liberal base as he looks to capture the biggest prize in the presidential primary season next year.The decisions by...

Analysis: Deval Patrick revives debate over ‘electability’

Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick’s late entry into the presidential race offers Democrats a fresh — and perhaps last — chance to reassess who they think is the strongest candidate to take on President Donald Trump.It adds to the now months-long debate within the...

College president wants founder’s name removed from building

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The president of a private liberal arts college in Minnesota is asking his board of trustees to remove the school founder’s name from a campus building over concerns about his racist and sexist views in the 1800s.The Star Tribune reports that Macalester College...

ENTERTAINMENT

Media filters set current impeachment hearings apart

NEW YORK (AP) — Millions of Americans are choosing to experience the impeachment hearings through media filters that depict the proceedings as either a worthless sham or like Christmas in November.That’s the chief difference between now and the two other times in the modern era when a...

Creator of Lizzo’s signature slogan could get a Grammy nod

NEW YORK (AP) — Mina Lioness’ longstanding battle to finally receive writing credit on Lizzo’s megahit song “Truth Hurts” is paying off in more ways than one: it could win her a potential Grammy Award.Lizzo's breakthrough tune features the signature line —...

Ex-ambassador’s testimony shines light on conservative media

NEW YORK (AP) — Former Ukrainian Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch’s impeachment testimony on Friday spotlighted the role of conservative media in her downfall and the chilling reminder that she remains a social media target.The ousted ambassador recalled a series of articles by reporter...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Last minute-audible: Kaepernick workout moves to high school

RIVERDALE, Ga. (AP) — Colin Kaepernick’s saga took another surreal turn Saturday — a...

AP FACT CHECK: Impeachment hearings and that Trump tweet

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump said he was just exercising his right to free speech. Democrats...

Sanders stars with Biden, Warren absent at California forum

LONG BEACH, Calif. (AP) — Bernie Sanders was greeted with booming cheers at a gathering of California...

Bolivian interim leader meets UN envoy amid violence fears

SACABA, Bolivia (AP) — A U.N. envoy met with Bolivia’s interim president Saturday to find a way out...

Scuffles mar anniversary of birth of yellow vest movement

PARIS (AP) — Scuffles between Paris police and activists on Saturday marred the anniversary of the birth of...

Ukraine feels abandoned amid US impeachment drama

Ukraine is at the center of today’s east-west geopolitical battle, but it’s feeling increasingly...

McMenamins
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.

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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.

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