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1993: ACLU takes action against anti-gay Estacada ballot measure


by: ISABEL GAUTSCHI - An ad from Clackamas County News August 3, 1983 issue.1967 — An Estacada woman graduated from the U.S. flight nurse course at the U.S. Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine. Only officers of the Air Force Nurse Corps or Air National Guard were eligible to take the course.

Second Lt. Darla S. Sanders was trained for medical duties on aeromedical evacuation aircraft.

Sanders graduated from Estacada High School in 1961.

1983 — A Clackamas County judge found a 34-year-old Estacada man guilty of shooting his wife to death after learning of her intent to leave him.

After the couple’s son left for school, the man hit his wife over the head with a rock and shot her. He then selected another rife and killed his two dogs.

He chose still another rifle to shoot at Clackamas County sheriff’s deputies. He fired at a reporter and photographer during a high-speed chase as well.

The defense attempted to show that he was mentally unbalanced and should be sent to a mental institution. The prosecution argued he should be held accountable for his actions, posing the question “is divorce sufficient provocation for murder?”

He was sent to prison.

1993 — The Americans Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) stepped into the fray over an anti-gay initiative on Estacada’s September 1993 ballot.

Measure 3-1 would “prohibit civil rights protections based on homosexuality or sexual orientation.” It was backed by the Wilsonville-based No Special Rights Committee, an Oregon Citizens Alliance (OCA) PAC.

It seemed clear to Estacada city councilors that even if the measure were to pass it would be invalidated by a new Oregon state law that prohibited cities from enforcing laws that target individuals based on sexual orientation.

Part of the OCA’s motivation was to challenge this law in court.

City Attorney Tom Rastetter advised the Estacada City Council that the city didn’t have the authority to stop elections.

The ACLU had offered to defend the city of Estacada if the OCA sued in response to canceling the election.

Nevertheless, the Estacada City Council unanimously decided to leave the measure on the ballot. In response, the ACLU issued a statement that it would ask the Clackamas County Circuit Court to cancel Estacada’s September mail-in election on the grounds that the measure violated Oregon law.

2003 — Construction of the new Clackamas River Elementary School building was nearing completion. The junior high school got some seismic upgrades, new roof and interior remodel.

Both developments were funded by a bond measure passed in 2000.

Compiled from Estacada News files.



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