Youth members of Russian and Ukrainian churches in Oregon have turned out in large numbers in recent days to oppose gay-rights measures passed by one or both houses of the Legislature in Salem. The Oregonian and the Salem Statesman-Journal report that hundreds of Russian-speaking young people attended hearings to challenge laws that would prevent discrimination and allow civil unions between same-sex partners. Some other members of churches with large Russian and Eastern European memberships firmly disagree with the loose-knit group calling itself The Voice of Oregon Youth, telling reporters that the activists do not represent them and emphasizing that there is no monolithic Russian-Christian community. At this point, however, their voices are muffled by the rallying cries of those fighting against proposed civil rights protections for lesbian, gay, and trans folks. While not linked to any particular group, a threat was made on a lawmaker's voice mail that "all who vote for queers will die by November." Willamette Week theorizes that the Russian influence might revitalize the Oregon Citizens Alliance, which put several anti-gay measures onstage a decade ago before being pushed aside by Oregon voters not inclined to pass laws calling homosexuals "abnormal" and requiring the firing of gay teachers. The alliance says it's staying out of this fight, though. This particular source of anti-gay protest is news to many Oregonians, but groups identifying themselves as Russian in heritage have been busy for some time elsewhere. Earlier this week, Russian activists were described as a formidable, well-established force that has California gay-rights supporters concerned.