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Prop 8 ruling likely has no immediate effect on Northwest

Tuesday's ruling overturning California’s ban on same-sex marriage is not expected to affect similar laws in other states. Oregon and Idaho also have voter-approved amendments against gay marriage.

But Washington lawmakers are poised to send Governor Chris Gregoire a measure allowing gays and lesbians to marry.

The judges on the federal appeals court crafted their decision to apply specifically to California. It's not clear yet whether the US Supreme Court will eventually take up the case.

But even if it does, Jeana Frazzini of Basic Rights Oregon says that’s a long way off and gay rights groups like hers aren’t relying on the legal system.

She says, "This is going to be an issue that we need to win in the court of public opinion one way or another."

Frazzini says Basic Rights Oregon may try to get a measure on the ballot in two years aimed at legalizing gay marriage.

But Oregon voters banned same-sex marriage in 2004, and Teresa Harke of the Oregon Family Council doesn’t believe voters have changed their minds. "I think Oregon still feels very strongly that marriage is between a man and a woman."

Idaho voters approved a ban on gay marriage in 2006. The state’s attorney general filed a brief in support of California’s Proposition 8, defining marriage as between one man and one woman.

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Copyright 2012 Northwest News Network

Chris Lehman graduated from Temple University with a journalism degree in 1997. He landed his first job less than a month later, producing arts stories for Red River Public Radio in Shreveport, Louisiana. Three years later he headed north to DeKalb, Illinois, where he worked as a reporter and announcer for NPR–affiliate WNIJ–FM. In 2006 he headed west to become the Salem Correspondent for the Northwest News Network.