Willamette Week nails Multnomah commission for secrecyWillamette Week fulfilled an element of its mission last week. As an alternative to the conventional media, WW often nails matters the mainstream press won't touch or deals with in an ambivalent manner.

In its editorial column, "The Nose," WW pointed out the ways in which the left-wing Multnomah County Commission has emulated the worst aspect of Vice President Dick Cheney. By meeting secretly with leaders of Basic Rights Oregon and formulating policy on the hugely impactful gay marriage issue, the commissioners emulated Cheney's secret energy task force. Wrote WW: "...(T)hree of the county's four elected commissioners, along with chair Diane Linn, met secretly with Basic Rights Oregon to do the legal analysis, plot the timing and even discuss the renting of the stage for last month's historic decision to pass out same-sex marriage licenses."

WW also criticized Basic Rights Oregon for its name-calling against adversaries after a court hearing that was the height of civility.

After reaffirming its own support of gay marriage, WW concluded that, "...(G)ay-rights advocates would do well to climb down from the moral high ground for a moment and look back at history. After all, it wasn't so long ago that Lon Mabon and his fanatically anti-gay Oregon Citizens Alliance were the ones calling names, chastising people who disagreed with them and alienating everyone in the middle. And look how far that got them."

Gay marriage is a concept whose time has come or very nearly come. But Multnomah County Commissioners, led by Chairwoman Diane Linn, have thumbed their collective nose at the public process by having a secret process and no public process prior to announcement of a momentous, historic decision.

Rather than fostering a constructive public discussion, the Multnomah commissioners' high-handed and secretive behavior was a detriment to their cause.

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