“I would have to say, I definitely believe that that is wrong,” Rafferty said when confronted with the possibility of a ballot initiative that would legalize gay marriage in Oregon. “I believe it’s a sin, just the same as murder’s a sin.”
There are signs that Rafferty's views place her outside the mainstream among Oregon Republicans. In March, GOP activists in the state voted to endorse a potential marriage equality ballot measure 233-162.
On Tuesday, sponsors of the ballot measure asked U.S. District Judge Michael McShane to issue his decision in a case challenging the state's same-sex marriage ban by May 23, the deadline for submitting ballot initiative signatures for early review. Backers of the ballot initiative said they would not push ahead if the ban is overturned. Oral arguments for the case have been scheduled for April 23.
Rafferty, a 52-year-old business owner who has never run for political office, also said she considers abortion to be murder, and explained that she thinks it's “misunderstood.”
“People don’t really understand ... If I become governor I think maybe that would be one of my things, some kind of an education thing,” Rafferty explained. “Maybe if I even had to pay for it out of my own pocket, to get people to understand that a baby in the womb is a human being.”
One of six gubernatorial candidates in the state’s Republican primary, Rafferty said that she determined she was the most conservative “after a little bit of listening" to some of the others.