I've now lived in Oregon for over twenty years, having moved here in the summer of 1991 from Montana. I lived in Portland for a few years, during the craziness of the Measure 9 controversy, then in Eugene (my wife's hometown) since 1995. In 1997, the year that we entered the Catholic Church, Oregon became the first to state to legalize assisted suicide, via the "Death with Dignity Act". As I've sometimes dryly noted, when giving talks in other parts of the country, Oregon is that surreal place where you aren't trusted to pump your own gas, but if you'd like to kill yourself, the State is there to assist you.
Oregon is indeed a curious place, politically and culturally: generally speaking, it likes to present itself as a liberty-loving, eccentric haven for free-thinkers who thumb their nose at convention, tradition, religion, and the mores of middle America. In reality, it is more like a State-operated insane asylum in which the inmates are reassured of how openminded, cutting-edge, and truly liberal they are, while their political masters continuously and confidently promote a culture of death, secular homogenization, and narrowminded bullying that is equally breathtaking and bizarre.
As odd as it might sound, I suspect that one reason Oregon's political leaders are able to pull many of the deadly, anti-life stunts they do is because of how jaw-dropping beautiful this state is. People are willing to put up with a lot of craziness in order to live in one of the most gorgeous places in the United States, where they have access to the ocean, beaches, streams, rivers, forests, mountains, and farmlands without the worries of tornadoes, (large) earthquakes, hurricanes, and humidity. (We do take our chances with volcanoes.) Of course, it's not as if all Oregonians are ultra-progressive crusaders for euthanasia, abortion, same-sex marriage, and all the other faddish ills of enlightened secularism; there are, in fact, many good, sane people here (even if few of them go to church or practice "organized religion"—Oregon leads the nation "with 25% of its residents claiming no particular religious identity").
But, in the end, Oregon seems deadset on being California, Jr.—or even outdoing California in some ways, as this recent bit of news indicates: