Ore. gay rights group won't try for 2012 ballot

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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- Gay rights advocates have decided not to seek a ballot measure next year that would legalize gay marriage in Oregon.

Basic Rights Oregon announced the decision on Wednesday after months of publicly mulling a push. The organization cited the expense of running a statewide campaign during an economic downturn.

Gay marriage supporters have aired television ads aimed at raising support for same-sex unions. Basic Rights Oregon says in a statement that it will continue an education campaign and will continue to work toward gaining same-sex marriage rights.

If approved at the ballot box, Oregon would have been the first state to legalize gay marriage by a vote of the people.