Elections | Gay Marriage | Oregon

Oregon's Marriage Equality Campaign to Kick Off Signature Gathering Campaign Tomorrow

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Oregon is on its way to join California and Washington in bringing marriage equality to the entire West Coast, with a petition campaign in support of a 2014 ballot initiative set to kick off tomorrow, The Huffington Post reports:

According to Petition Director Ryan Brown, the campaign will kick off on Friday, July 26 in cities all across the state. Brown says organizers are hoping to gather 116,284 signatures by July 3, 2014 -- "a signature every 4 and 1/4 minutes."

"Together, we can make it possible for every Oregonian to have the freedom to marry the person they love," he concluded in an email statement. At least 116,000 valid signatures are necessary for the initiative to make the November 2014 ballot.

The campaign, known as Oregon Says I Do, will seek to gather the 116,284 valid signatures needed to put a pro-marriage equality constitutional amendment on the 2014 ballot.

If the amendment qualifies for the election and is approved next November, Oregon would become the first state in which voters repealed a marriage equality ban that was established by an earlier ballot initiative--Measure 36, which Oregonians approved in 2004 by a 57-43 percent margin.

Polls have shown plurality support for amending the Oregon Constitution in favor of marriage equality, and opponents of the effort in April lost a legal battle in which they challenged the language of the proposed amendment.

This is not the first time a marriage equality campaign has been launched in Oregon: in 2009, the state's largest LGBT rights organization, Basic Rights Oregon, began an education campaign with the goal of repealing Measure 36 during the 2012 election. In late 2011, The Statesmen Journal reported (erroneously) that the group would collect signatures for a 2012 repeal; Basic Rights later announced that it had determined that 2012 was the wrong time for a marriage equality campaign. This February, however, the group unveiled plans to push for a ballot initiative in 2014.

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Comments

  1. Ryan verus Brian and Brown versus Brown?

    Posted by: simon | Jul 25, 2013 6:38:29 PM


  2. Maine did something similar, although it didn't involve a constitutional amendment, as in Oregon. The 2012 Maine referendum effectively overturned the 2009 referendum which was a people's veto of the marriage equality law enacted by the legislature.

    Posted by: Merv | Jul 25, 2013 7:02:24 PM


  3. Perhaps a technicality, but until Alaska has equality we can't the say entire West Coast does.

    Posted by: Zac | Jul 25, 2013 7:08:21 PM


  4. @Zac: That was my first thought as well! Alaska has a wild Libertarian streak though...It'll happen soon!

    Posted by: RTHK | Jul 25, 2013 7:21:33 PM


  5. On an interesting trivia note, Oregon was founded on Valentine's Day. So having this in the ballot in '14 is appropriate. (My partner's and my wedding anniversary is October 14th as well, which commemorated the first gay march on Washington D.C. Guess there's something lucky about gays and 14!)

    Posted by: Dback | Jul 26, 2013 12:25:51 AM


  6. Meanwhile in Canada...

    Gay marriage has been legal for the entire country since 2005.

    As an Oregonian I am happy we are on the path, but disgusted that my 18 year relationship still isn't legal, and people get to vote on my rights, maybe, in 2014.

    Posted by: bendskier | Jul 26, 2013 12:44:51 AM


  7. @Dback, they actually kicked off the first part of the campaign on Valentine's Day this year. They collected 2000 signatures on that day to fulfill the first part of the initiative process. =)

    Posted by: Ryan | Jul 26, 2013 1:12:42 AM


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